On the right wall: Kansa, 2017 (Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum), 91 × 6 in (231.1 × 15.2 cm)
Madison Gallery presents Donald Martiny’s second solo exhibition, Pittura A Macchia. The title refers to the disparagement of Italian Renaissance Master Titian’s late career works as “patchy pictures” or pittura a macchia. Up until Titian’s years, artists aspired to create smooth and unbroken surfaced compositions. This influenced an important shift in art history that centered on the physiological connection between artist and material.
As art critic and writer Ann Landi acutely stated, “up close the visible brushstrokes bring us nearer to the artist because they are such clear evidence of a hand following the dictates of the mind and eye.” Martiny’s work concentrates on the importance of the brushstroke as a real means of connection between artist and material.
In his own words: “because every gesture in the painting does something different. I realized that the architecture of the brushstrokes was as important to the painting as other elements, like color and drawing.” Said brushstrokes are big, lush, exuberant sweeps of pigment that are neither paintings nor sculptures, but hover in a space all their own.
The artist employs pigments, polymer and gallons of paint, sometimes between 30-40 at a time, to create the right color and viscosity to produce each individual composition. He not only utilizes wide brushes and sponges, but also uses his hands and body in order to create a harmonious choreography. He creates a gap between painting and sculpture and rejects the two-dimensional canvas or panel to establish a relationship between space and viewer.
#TBT Exhibition Preview at Madison Galleries, La Jolla, CA
Photo by @kingcullt
"Gorgeous Donald Martiny commission installed for very happy clients. They selected the perfect form and color combination and the artist brilliantly brought it to life". Madison Gallery
"When a square just isn't the shape you see in your home, there is Donald Martiny. Donald's thick gestures create life, color and movement on the wall." Madison Gallery
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.