NEW YORK, NY—January 10th, 2018— Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present
Saudade, Martina Nehrling’s second solo show with the gallery.
Saudade is a Portuguese term that defies direct translation, but
Martina Nehrling thinks the elusiveness of the word is best wrangled
by Jasmine Garsd. She describes it as “a melancholy nostalgia for
something that perhaps has not even happened. It often carries an
assurance that this thing you feel nostalgic for will never happen
again.” It’s an unexpected concept to associate with Nehrling’s
unabashedly optimistic work characterized by highly saturated color,
but in her latest work on view in Saudade she concentrates on the
presence of absence.
Nehrling’s paintings are built with individual staccato brushstrokes of
lush, bright colors in a palette that feels simultaneously logical and
discordant. She creates a rhythm to her work with this palette that
so closely suggests but does not complete a full spectrum, each
stroke creating a vibrational tension with the one next to it. These
gaps are central to the experience of her paintings, leading to a synesthetic conflation of
musicality and visual perception.
To Nehrling, not even a single color is one-dimensional. She explores the formal complexity
of color, and reflects its emotional depths and limitless potential with the tactile physicality
of her paint. Mining the genuine impulses of her very first encounters with mark-making,
reducing painting down to its essence feels like more authentic territory to her. She revels in
her work’s controversial decorativeness, challenging the viewer’s preconceived notions and
celebrating its unapologetic hysteria, its mirth, and its madness.
Martina Nehrling has shown with galleries around the United States, along with the South
Bend Museum of Art, Evanston Art Center, and the Chicago Cultural Center. She has
received the Community Arts Assistance Program Grant from the Chicago Cultural Affairs
twice, and has been a visiting artist at several institutions. She received her MFA from the
University of Chicago, and lives and works in Chicago.