Marianne Boesky Gallery now representing Martyn Cross

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Marianne Boesky Gallery now representing Martyn Cross
Martyn Cross, King of Bliss, 2021. Oil on canvas, 8 1/8 x 12 inches, 20.6 x 30.5 cm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Marianne Boesky Gallery announced representation of UK-based painter Martyn Cross, in partnership with Hales Gallery, London. Cross works across a range of scales, from the intimate to the monumental, producing landscapes that are vast, immersive, and otherworldly. Informed by medieval imagery, various literary genres, and his deep connection to printed books, Cross’s work is at once earthbound and celestial. A solo exhibition of Cross’s work at Marianne Boesky Gallery’s New York space is slated for the fall of 2023.

Working with a distinctive, muted color palette, Cross layers scratched and scrubbed dry-brushed pigment to yield a weathered, worn texture glowing with the internal luminosity of medieval manuscripts and frescoes. “I see the paintings equally as objects as much as I do paintings,” Cross said. “They are things that in their creation are held and caressed and physically roughed-up, all with the intention of creating some kind of surface history.”

In the fall of 2022, Marianne Boesky Gallery presented Roarings Further Out, Cross’s first solo exhibition in New York. Consisting entirely of small-scale paintings, the exhibition delved into uncanny, spiritual worlds that borrow equally from medieval religiosity and the early 20th-century speculative literary genre known as weird fiction. In these compressed yet powerful landscapes, the familiar morphs into the strange and unsettling: human figures transform into mountains, eyes become suns and flames, teeth turn into comets. Cross’s work was also featured in the 2021 Marianne Boesky Gallery group exhibition, A Thought Sublime, alongside work by Pier Paolo Calzolari, Molly Greene, Jay Heikes, Sheree Hovsepian, Wanda Koop, William J. O’Brien, and Thiago Rocha Pitta. A Thought Sublime was Cross’s first exhibition in the United States.

“I first discovered Martyn’s smaller paintings through the portal of my computer screen in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Marianne Boesky said. “I was mesmerized by the depth and magical qualities that these tiny paintings conveyed—even from such a distance. I am grateful that he was willing to send some of these works to New York so I could see them in person—and soon after, I was thrilled to experience his larger works as well. It is rare that a painter can work both on such an intimate scale and preserve the same mystical power on a large scale.”

Martyn Cross (b. 1975, Yate, United Kingdom) holds a BA in Fine Art from Bath Spa University. He has exhibited at galleries and institutions across the United Kingdom and internationally, including Hales London; Ratio 3, San Francisco, CA; OSHSH Projects, London; Oceans Apart, Manchester; Bath Spa University; Spike Island, Bristol; LIMBO, Margate; Stroud Museum, UK; and Kettles Yard, Cambridge, among others. Cross lives and works in Bristol, United Kingdom.

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