In a world that is more and more removed and isolated, where finding contact and gesture and movement, both abstract and emotional, is increasingly difficult, Donald Martiny's expressively lyrical solo, Gestures, at Madison Gallery in La Jolla, California is refreshingly immediate.
One is instantly struck by the work's visceral movement and vibrant color. But it would be too easy to reduce these forms to simply a discussion of color and flow. These enlarged brushlike strokes, formed from polymer and saturated pigment, are visual poems. They are the painterly equivalent of a verbal haiku, deceptively lean, but on reflection as complex as breath. The simplified structure allows the viewer to look deeper. The swaths of undulating paint, dotted with streaks of hidden color and seemingly random trace gesture, draw us closer, enticing us with their history. And the sensual , almost liquid quality of the forms woos us, like the touch of someones hand on bare skin, light but electric, the movement fleeting but the sensation enduring. The touch simple in form but resonant in understanding. That sensation is rare in this world of detachment. But as these paintings attest, and as has been said many times, "the simplest gesture is the most profound." It is indeed.