The Galleria Christian Stein is presenting for the first time the works of Jason Martin (1970), a British artist known to the public for his pictures laden with pigment, created in a head-on, physical and emotional encounter with the paint. Martin executes his extraordinary works through actions that modify the surface of the painting. While such a thick coat of pigment turns these pictures into sculptures, almost in high relief, the action carried out on the surface takes us into the field of performance. Each of these works is the result of a clash between two dimensions, one characterized by the choreography of the artist’s gestures and movements, the other by the nature, density and color of the pigment. The surface also has a role to play because it influences the end result, at the level both of the reflection of light and of the thickness, the physical consistency of the paint. Under the force of gravity, this tends inexorably to move, to sag, to fall from the top to the bottom, sliding vertically or resisting, dragging ample horizontal patches with it and solidifying them. The interdependence of action and material generates an image of a nonfigurative nature that expresses itself through a formless language, in an eloquent stratification of prearranged and fortuitous gestures, of control and spontaneity. An image that looks finished and at the same time dynamic, as if it were in the process of evolving and changing. The operation is a perfect and always unexpected combination of elements conceptually arranged in advance and psychologically liberated forces, the result of actions and reactions between language and impulse.
The title given by the artist to the exhibition, Reminiscence, alludes to the fact that his work is imbued with memories, and so can also tell us something about what happened during its birth, or even before that. The work is what we see, the sensual surface that makes us want to touch it, but at the same time it is something else, a layering and mixing of reminiscences, more or less remote, distant in time and space, in which we recognize what emerges from our unconscious.