Jason Martin





Press release

Opening on Saturday, 22 February 2014, 6pm-8pm


Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to present a solo exhibition with new pigment paintings by Jason Martin.

Firmly anchored in the modernist practices of the gestural and monochrome, Jason Martin has been consistently exploring and refining his painting over the years. The meticulously choreographed movement of the brush and controlled application of paint have always conferred his work an extraordinary sculptural quality.

In an endeavour to push the boundaries towards sculpture even further, Jason Martin merges sculptural and gestural techniques in his recent works. What might look like a composition of generous, pastose swirls and rakes of creamy paint is in fact a minutely built sculpted texture. Pure pigments are projected onto these rugged landscapes accentuating mounts, streams, crevasses and plains. In the process, the organic intermingles with the inorganic, smooth surfaces acquire a more mineral texture and in some cases give you the illusion of seeing a fine deposit of frost on the paintings. The emergence of forms and reliefs sometimes evoke a mysterious mountainous landscape or a storm, expressing the suggestive power of abstract painting to convene nonetheless an image in the viewer’s mind.
These new pigment paintings stand in stark contrast to Jason Martin's oil paintings. His compositions in oil create an illusion of depth and the lines, fine as hair on a translucent background, are constantly interacting with the light, reverberating it as through a soft filter. His pigment paintings instead seem to absorb all the light in their texture to then render an intense and mute glow, sublimating the physical experience of the material.

Jason Martin was born in Jersey in 1970 and currently lives and works in London and in Portugal. After graduating from Goldsmith College in London Jason Martin received a scholarship from the Sohen Ryu Tea Ceremony Foundation in Kamakura (Japan), which was followed by many participations in pioneering group exhibitions in the latter half of the 1990s, such as: Real Art. A New Modernism. British Reflexive Painters in the 1990s (Southampton City Art Gallery 1995), About Vision. New British Painting in the 1990s (Oxford Museum of Modern Art 1996).

Martin came to the attention of a wider public through the now legendary group exhibition Sensation, with works from the Saatchi collection by young British artists (Royal Academy of Arts, London 1997, then Berlin and New York). It marked the birth of the term Young British Artists (YBAs). In 2004, Jason Martin's work attracted great attention at the Monochrome exhibition in the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, and in 2008 the Centro Arte Contemporaneo in Málaga (CAC) and the Mönchehaus Museum of Modern Art in Goslar held major solo exhibitions. The following year, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice devoted a comprehensive solo show to his work. For 2015, MACRO in Rome is preparing a comprehensive retrospective covering 20 years of painting.

Works by Jason Martin are part of important institutional collections including those of the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, the CAC Málaga, the Salzburg Museum of Modern Art, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA 21) in Vienna and the Deutsche Bank.