Dis­cov­ery: Martin Ge­orge

Artist Profile - - CONTENTS -

MY PAINT­INGS ARE PRI­MAR­ILY con­cerned with the re­la­tion­ship be­tween dec­o­ra­tive and ex­pres­sive gesture. Us­ing gesture, a fo­cus is drawn to the ma­te­ri­al­ity of a work with at­ten­tion to its whole struc­ture – in other words, the fix­tures and sup­ports, the edges of a can­vas, as well as its sur­face. I use dec­o­ra­tive gesture and ex­em­plify cer­tain mo­tifs in or­der to create the no­longer-dec­o­ra­tive, and to ob­jec­tively make a work look gar­ish. These ges­tures and the ma­te­ri­al­ity of a work are anti-tech­ni­cal and sug­gest a quickly fin­ished work, bore­dom found dur­ing pro­duc­tion, or a paint­ing that sits in limbo without will­ing­ness for it to de­velop any fur­ther. This stage be­fore a re­alised im­age – a gesture sim­i­lar to a clouded thought – is fun­da­men­tal to all my works. These mo­tifs in my paint­ings have links to il­lus­tra­tive or representational form but are sit­u­ated as un­re­solved mo­ments, and main­tain a quasi-ab­stract sta­tus. I also tend to in­cor­po­rate my ini­tials into works, ei­ther as a foun­da­tion for the evolution of an im­age, or sim­ply cam­ou­flaged within an al­ready re­alised work. This is to ex­ag­ger­ate ideas of artis­tic au­thor­ship and the artist’s ego, which is a com­monly ex­e­cuted mo­tif in re­cent paint­ing prac­tices as an en­deav­our to dis­tance at­tach­ment be­tween an artist and their work. For my cur­rent paint­ings I have work­ing pa­ram­e­ters to struc­ture a pic­ture, for ex­am­ple, us­ing repet­i­tive gesture over an en­tire sur­face. I broadly group these works un­der the ti­tle of Check­er­fields, a name that could pay homage to Mon­drian’s Checker­board paint­ings. These works have guide­lines in­cor­po­rated into their mak­ing, they are paint­ings that hold a start and fin­ish point; they let me think about my next paint­ing while I am paint­ing ... they aim to speak to the grand ab­stract gesture, the monochrome, or the in­ti­macy of the colour-field. These as­pi­ra­tions of the work are ul­ti­mately fail­ures; they are a weak at­tempt to con­vey char­ac­ter­is­tics of high-mod­ernist ab­strac­tion. This re­la­tion fails be­cause val­ues are sub­verted by the paint­ing’s ma­te­ri­al­ity – its anti-tech­ni­cal­ity and man­age­able scale. These ma­te­rial char­ac­ter­is­tics in my work makes them naïve on the sur­face, caused by their banal im­age struc­tures. Through forms of poor ab­strac­tion, and the des­e­cra­tion of painterly mo­tifs, a light-hearted bar­rier is placed at the fore­front of these works. The over­all naivety acts like a means of pro­tec­tive­ness or a shield­ing from ex­te­rior net­works; a sub­tle de­fence. In this man­ner there are no stand­outs, no state­ment pieces, and no one-lin­ers. My paint­ings ul­ti­mately ex­ist as a slight ac­tion … found un­der the couch … from be­hind the book­shelf … sal­vaged from a bin.

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