October 07 - 31, 2008

Leigh Martin


Untitled (7) detailMute is an extension of the Loaded (2007) series of paintings that evolved from a partial revisiting of issues explored in previous bodies of work - the Dissolve (1998) series of paintings in particular. The motivation in these earlier works was born out of an interest in monochrome and minimalist painting of the 60s and an interest in what Max Kossloff coined 'abstract luminism' that was revisited by a number of 'process painters' in Britain and Europe in the 1990s.  All of these practitioners privileged colour, materiality and 'objecthood' as the primary constituents of their practice. 

Although the more recent bodies of work are no longer monochromatic, Martin intentionally employs a minimal syntax, revealing the process of making and an intensity of experience that may not easily be articulated linguistically. There is little of the artist's hand here and the paintings may be mute, but they relish interaction and experience. Martin does not resort to representation but presents us with an authentic moment of perception. Untitled (5)

The pigmented resins employed have a materiality and memory of their own. As well as viscosity, colour, translucency, curing times, and Martin's physical interventions, the resins are influenced by a wide range of external conditions present at the time of construction. As Martin attempts to control one or more of these physical attributes, the process of pouring still allows the resin to behave in an autonomous and unpredictable manner.  "No matter how I attempt to contain these resins, the process is contingent enough to allow a certain unpredictability and self-determination. I relish this lack of logic"

Untitled (4)The canvases are rocked from 'side to side' and from 'edge to edge' - the objective being to uniformly cover as much of the canvas as possible. Colour is distributed not via the indexical movement of the hand or subsequent use of a brush, but by the movement/manipulation of the canvas itself.  All the pigments in these paintings are transparent. This eventually results in a smooth glass like surface that entombs all of the previous layers or actions into one. And due to the fast curing times of the medium, there is little time for subjective considerations or intervention once it is poured upon the canvas.

Untitled (6)Untitled (7) edge detail

The term 'Loaded' refers not only to the painterly loading of a brush, but also to the notion of intoxication, of being intoxicated with colour and open to synesthetic appreciation. There is here, no limitation to the intensities of experience.   


Jonathan Smart
October 2008



Selected works

3. Untitled (detail)

7. Untitled

6. Untitled (detail)


Back Gallery:

1.  Untitled    455 x 405mm   

2.  Untitled    355 x 305mm   

3.  Untitled    710 x 660mm   

4.  Untitled    660 x 555mm   

Front Gallery:

5.  Untitled    455 x 405mm  

6.  Untitled    900 x 830mm  

7.  Untitled    380 x 305mm  

All works are resin and pigment
on canvas, from 2008.