Donald Martiny: Freeing the Gesture

January 01, 2015 - December 31, 2021

In the 1950s, artists like Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline elevated the gesture to the position of the protagonist in abstract expressionism.  In the 21st century, Donald Martiny advances that idea considerably further by freeing the gesture of gestural abstraction from the substrate which, heretofore, provided the context that brought gesture to life.

Working with polymers and dispersed pigments, Martiny has developed a methodology that enables him to isolate his sumptuous, almost sculptural, brushstrokes and lift them off the wall.  The nature of his material is such that Martiny can work in a much larger scale than if he were dependent on a canvas surface; indeed, each singular brushstroke might range from two to as much as six-feet in length.  Installed, these compelling monochromatic gestures immediately breathe a new kind of life into the gallery space.

Martiny belongs to a family of painters which includes such luminaries as Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko, Ad Reinhardt, Barnett Newman, Frank Stella, and Olivier Mossett.  Quite amazingly, each of these distinguished artists brought something noticeably different to this admittedly singular and restrictive approach to painting.  Prior to Martiny, though, each of these other great painters relied on manipulating the relationship between canvas and pigment to achieve subtle, nuanced differences in each painting.  Martiny has greatly expanded the painterly agenda by taking the brushstroke completely off the canvas entirely.  He is committed to furthering the monochromatic agenda and has the ability to make fresh, new work that acknowledges, rather than negates, decades of previous good work.  Rather than hastening the death of painting as Rodchenko forecast, monochromatic painting has already enjoyed a long lifeline and, in the hands of Donald Martiny, is clearly alive and well.

Rent this Exhibit:

Contents: 10 -12 sculptural paintings of polymer and dispersed pigment on alumalite, each of varying sizes, Works subject to change based on availability.
Supplemental materials: Educational and promotional resources.
Fee:  $7,000 plus one-way shipping
Sizes: Variable; each between 2-3′ wide by 4-7′ high.
Security: Moderate
Shipping: Standard Art Shipping
Tour: 2017 and after

Contact Lauren Wolfer at 260.422.6467 or lauren.wolfer@fwmoa.org with your inquiries.