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Solo exhibition of new paintings by British artist Jason Martin on view at L.A. Louver
Jason Martin’s Counterfeit. Jason Martin. ©Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, California.

VENICE, CA.- L.A. Louver announces a solo exhibition of new paintings by British artist Jason Martin.

Martin has titled the exhibition Counterfeit, “to express the duplication of a subject.” In over a dozen new works on view, the artist seeks to replicate or embody the natural world through the mergence of artificial visualization and actual elemental forces. Following several years of exploring new materials and techniques, this exhibition represents a culmination of Martin’s discoveries, resulting in dynamic and radical painting surfaces.

“En plein air” is a term most commonly used for paintings made outdoors; an artist who works “in situ” is exposed to the elements and directly responds to the environment. Rather than copying or recording the properties of nature, Martin instead uses them to precipitate unpredictable and exciting results. Working flat, the artist creates these paintings with a paste medium, which he manipulates on aluminum panels, or surfaces covered with sail cloth or cotton duck. Martin then applies various pigments, dyes and watercolor by hand, brush and spray to the hardened surfaces. Harnessing natural forces, the works are often placed in direct contact with the elements, exposing their surfaces to heat, light, wind and rain, to encourage alchemical metamorphoses and chance encounters. Over several months, color and substance shift – clustering, drifting, pooling may occur – conjuring associations of subterranean, mountainous or cosmic landscapes.

One of the most distinguishable shifts in these works is Martin’s use of color. Whereas previous paintings featured monochromatic applications, these new works embrace a variety of palettes and display a sophisticated command of color, ranging from subtle to dramatic. Martin’s approach to pigmentation further accentuates his mastery of sculptural gestures, intensifying surface peaks and depressions. In the artist’s own words, “This methodology combines processes of artificiality and natural phenomenology: a delicate balance mirrored in the interplay of new color harmonies that challenge the dogma of the monochrome.”

“Each work seeks to reveal an emotional truth, a critical point or brink of surfeit where a tension remains ambiguous yet emphatic,” says Martin. “Closure of a work is ultimately intuitive.”

Born in Jersey, Channel Islands, Jason Martin attended the Chelsea School of Art (1989-1990) and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1990-1993). He has received international recognition with his inclusion in Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy, London (traveled to Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York), 1997-2000. This was followed by the exhibitions Post-Hypnotic, University Galleries, New York (traveled to the MAC, Dallas; The Atlanta College Art Gallery; The Chicago Cultural Center; Tweed Museum, University of Minnesota; Naples Museum of Art, Florida, and Massachusetts College of Art) in 1999, and Monochrome, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2004. Other exhibitions include Nomad, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Málaga, Spain; and Rock, Centro Britânico Brasileiro, Sao Paulo, Brazil, both in 2008; and Vigil, The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 2009. In recent years, Martin has exhibited worldwide, including Austria, Spain, Belgium, Finland, Brazil and China. The artist will be featured in forthcoming exhibitions at Museum Gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Otterndorf, Gemany and SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen Museum, Sindelfingen, Germany.

Martin’s work is found in public and private collections, including Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Oviedo and Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Málaga, Spain; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna and Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Austria; Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland; Wuerth Collection, Germany; Fnac, Strasbourg, France; Birmingham Museum, UK; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Martin lives and works in London and Southern Portugal.

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