In the Wilds of Contemporary Abstraction

Curatorial Gallery Talk

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 4:00pm
Davis Museum Chandler Gallery

Join Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director of the Davis Museum, for a special curator’s tour of Eddie Martinez: Ants at a Picknic

The Davis Museum at Wellesley College is pleased to present Eddie Martinez: Ants at a Picknic, the artist’s first museum solo exhibition. The installation includes a suite of seven new large-scale “mandala” paintings, accompanied by a range of table-top painted bronze sculptures and large graphite drawings.
Eddie Martinez (b. 1977) has been critically lauded and widely collected for his dynamic linear abstraction, exuberant color, and a vocabulary of idiosyncratic reiterating forms. Inspired by a mashup of visual culture sources, from fine art to popular culture, his work in every medium—painting, drawing, sculpture, and print—is impossible to mistake. Martinez’s paintings build from a distinctive process: the artist starts with small drawings, blows them up and translates the “skeleton” in black silk-screen ink onto canvas; he adds color—varying from impastoed dabs to sweeping washes in oil, marine enamel, and spray paint—and often affixes drawings and other textural materials to his surfaces. The drawings are an essential “biographical, journalistic tool” in his process, and “make their way into the painting studio and feed the paintings, [where] sometimes they get glued directly to the paintings.” The artist says, “I carry them around and poach different marks and moves. Some of them go straight onto my ‘drawing wall’ which at times houses up to 500 drawings all mashed up on and over each other.”
The exhibition and catalogue are realized with generous funding from Wellesley College Friends of Art at the Davis, The Helyn MacLean Endowed Program Fund for Contemporary and South Asian Art, The Mildred Cooper Glimcher ’61 Endowed Fund, and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center Endowed Fund; with additional support for the catalogue from Timothy Taylor, London, and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.