Peres Projects is pleased to present Seeker, a solo exhibition of new paintings by the American artist Eddie Martinez.
Seeker is a body of work which consists of nine paintings. The paintings display Martinezʼs recognizable combination of virtuoso brushwork, which sings like his drawings, alongside heavily worked passages of dense color.
Itʼs easy to imagine Martinez standing with his nose nearly pressed into the wet canvas, craning his tall frame in order to examine an area where thick paint curls like breaking surf. We can imagine him deciding to act, and dragging a thick wet brush into more fresh paint with a decisive gesture. In that way his paintings evoke the memory of a host of heroic painters, and like those heroic modernists associated with the early to mid-twentieth century, Martinez uses his canvases to make paintings which flirt with abstraction, but keep one foot planted in the referential.
Martinezʼs work is both less serious and more serious than his forebears. The less seriousness mirrors the central turn in philosophy and art over the past sixty years, which has been the cementing of the unconscious into every facet of human activity. The paintings are more serious in the sense that, once the subject is decentered, the topic shifts from the individual towards relationships and communication. Youʼll notice that the figures in Martinezʼs paintings arenʼt isolated. They are either in relationship to one another, or looking pointedly out at you, or in the case of Sun Setter, deliberately looking away.
In a world that loves to talk about the death of painting, Martinez offers optimism to lovers of painting. Martinezʼs paintings have their own internal logic, and the startling clarity of his vision creates a testimony regarding the way he sees the world. In the same way that the works of Van Gogh or de Kooning evoke worlds and change the way we see, by meeting our world and leaving a trace left behind, Martinez also discloses a world. His work holds the potential for historical continuity with earlier traditions, while breaking from their fallacies and charting new territory.