Danae (Homage to Titian) | Palladium and gold leaf and acrylic on linen | 80" x 65" | 2012
©Knox Martin/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Knox Martin was born in 1923 in Barranquilla, Colombia.
He is the son of the aviator, painter, and poet William Knox Martin, the first man to fly over the Andes mountains.
After serving in World War II, Knox Martin attended the Art Students League of New York on the G.I. Bill from 1946-1950, where he studied with Harry Sternberg, Vaclav Vytlacil, Will Barnet, and Morris Kantor.
In 1954, Knox Martin's friend Franz Kline placed a painting of his in the Stable Gallery Annual. Charles Egan of the renowned Charles Egan Gallery saw Knox Martin's painting at the Stable Gallery and asked Martin to show his work in a one-man show for the tenth anniversary of the Egan Gallery.
Since then, Knox Martin has been a celebrated painter, sculptor and muralist. Knox Martin has an extensive exhibition record and his work is in museum, corporate and private collections worldwide. His two best-known murals in NYC are Venus and Woman with Bicycle. Knox Martin has been the recipient of many grants and awards, most recently the Benjamin West Clinedinst Memorial Medal, awarded by the Artists’ Fellowship “for the achievement of exceptional artistic merit.”
Knox Martin has also led a distinguished career teaching art. He taught at Yale Graduate School of the Arts, New York University, University of Minnesota, International School of Art in Umbria, Italy, and currently gives Master classes at the Art Students League of New York.
Knox Martin lives and works in New York City.
"Art is at its cutting edge out of a specific lineage - the creation of reality. The subject matter of what I do is Art." - Knox Martin
"Knox, you are the only one around with aesthetics!"
- Alex Katz
"You are my mentor. For years, I always asked, what would Knox think of my painting?"
- Bob Rauschenberg
"I was present when Knox Martin changed the life of a major artist by diagramming the basic structure of a Frans Hals. That artist was Al Held."
- Ron Gorchov
"Knox, you are the spirit of art!"
- Peter Golfinopoulos
"Knox, your work has a snooty look about it, I haven't seen outside of Matisse."
- Willem de Kooning
"There are many sexually overt works in this exhibit but the painting with no recognizable image, (Caraja) by Knox Martin; its head and shoulders more sexy than anything there!"
- Elaine de Kooning (Excerpt from a writing on a Whitney Museum exhibition)
"Anyone interested in drawing should see this exhibition of drawings by Knox Martin; he is his own man!"
- Hilton Kramer (Excerpt from the New York Times)
"This is the greatest drawing I have ever seen!"
- Stanley Boxer (Signaling out a drawing by Knox Martin, opening night at an Ingber Galley exhibition)
"Charlie Egan has taken you on. You have no idea how jealous everyone is that you have been taken on by Charlie."
- Aristedemos Kaldis (Knox Martin opening, 10th Anniversary Exhibition Charles Egan Gallery 1954 - advertised in the New York Times)
After Knox had given a talk on children's art (Olivia's paintings and drawings) age 6, on paper and blackboard, to Cy Twombly, Bob and Susan Rauchenberg -- Cy jumped up and said, "That's what I am going to do for the rest of my life!" He did.
- Cy Twombly
"Knox, your paintings are first rate!"
- Alfred Leslie (Reported by Charlie Egan)
“You are the greatest living American painter.”
-Will Barnet to Knox Martin
After an hour looking at "Woman with Red Shoes" at the Woman: Black and White Paintings show at Woodward Gallery, with William Crovello and John Woodward (in a telephone call to Knox from the gallery).
“This is the greatest painting!”
– John Woodward about "Crucifixion"
"Knox Martin was the first artist whose work I thought about critically and analytically."
- Arthur C. Danto
William Fried, PhD, SHE: An Exhibit by Knox Martin, exh. cat. (New York: The SAGG, 2012)
Robert Shuster, Best in Show: Knox Martin at Woodward Gallery, The Village Voice (October 20, 2010)
Valerie Gladstone, Knox Martin: Black and White Paintings, City Arts (September 28, 2010)
Edward Leffingwell, "Knox Martin at Janos Gat", Art in America (October 2003)
Arthur C. Danto, "Adventures in Pictorial Reason" (1998)
Jonathan Goodman, "Knox Martin at Janos Gat", Art in America (December 1997)
Grace Glueck, "Knox Martin: Early Work", The New York Times (May 23, 1997)
Vivien Raynor, "Abstract Works to Catch the Adult Eye", The New York Times (September 29, 1996)
Vivien Raynor, "Knox Martin: Angry But More Human", The New York Times (June 30, 1981)
Randy Fordyce, "Knox Martin in the Spotlight", Not Just Jazz: The Uncommon Denominator
Stuart Preston, "Knox Martin Impresses in First One-Man Show", The New York Times (September 6, 1954)