Jason Martin

Jersey, United Kingdom, 1970. 
Lives and works in London, United Kingdom and Portugal

Centrefold, 1998

Diptych. Oil on aluminium with copper sides
47.97 X 96.72 in

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Jason Martin is known for his monochrome works, which come out of abstract expressionism and minimalism, and are located at the intersection between painting and sculpture.

In the early 1990s Martin started working on his pieces by manipulating their materials: dragging, scraping, combing and raking the paint across the surfaces of canvases and aluminum panels until the material and color overflowed the physical support structure and textures appeared on its sides.  Using layers of oil or acrylic gel on stainless steel, aluminum or Perspex, the artist uses a metal brush or paddle to move the paint over the surface of his works.  He repeats this exercise over and over until he finds a perfect balance.  Following in the tradition of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, his emphasis is on developing physical action in order to carry out his works.

Centerfold is from an early period of using this technique.  The artist’s force through his work is palpable in its plasticity.  By working in monochrome, Martin is able to delve especially deeply into his focus on light, form and space.  There is a poetic instinct in these pieces, enabling the spectator to create associations directed by form, texture and color.  The striations in the painting trap the light; their rhythmic interweaving suggests organic figures, like locks of wet hair or tracks in the earth.

Jason Martin’s work has evolved in scale and treatment from other materials, while maintaining the appearance of abundance and sensuality that emerges from bodily movement and an excess of paint.