Jason Martin (b. 1970)

Jason Martin was born at Jersey, Channel Islands, UK in 1970. He went to Chelsea School of Art in 1989-1990, later he gained BA in Goldsmiths College, London in 1990-1993. Jason Martin lives and works in London.


Martin takes inspiration from both Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism, making paintings about paint: its materiality, sculptural presence and transformative, alchemical nature. His work subscribes to the western tradition of gestural painting. Martin produces monochrome oil paintings on an aluminium or stainless steel background upon which the brushstroke becomes the subject of the piece. Colour is the starting point, the background remains saturated sometimes visible, sometimes invisible, through grooves made by the brushstroke. Martin’s singular style of working the luxurious surfaces of his monochrome paintings with a purpose-built comb has become well known internationally.


The artist makes his own paintbrushes, this is noteworthy today when paint is sold in specially formulated tubes and brushes are industrially produced. In the finished work we see the painter’s gestures, sometimes sweeping, sometimes abrupt; the movement becomes the painting and its subject matter.


The energy of Martin’s process is palpable in the rich swathes of colour applied in thick, fluid, overlaid brushstrokes. Light plays across the sculpted surface echoing the dynamism and vigour of its creation. Martin also produces works in pure pigment – vividly intense, richly emotive, these jewel-like paintings resonate and dominate space. The titles of Martin’s works invite contemplation and emphasize their inherent narrative but their meaning is mutable.


Martin’s recent solo exhibitions include Jason Martin. (2017), SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, Germany; Counterfeit (2016), L.A. Louver, Los Angeles, USA; Big Dark Oils (2016), Pavilion 31, Centro Hospitalar Psiquiatrico de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; Summer 2015 (2015), Galerie Forsblow, Helsinki, Finland; Gestural Ubiquity (2014), Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, Paris, France; Elemental (2012), Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria; Pictures for Pleasure (2011), Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; Days Like These (2010), Mimmo Scognamiglio Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy. Prominent group exhibitions include Billboard Projects (2016), Pelaires Centre Cultural Contemporani, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Touch (2015), EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoon Kaupunki, Finland; Black. An Idea of Light (2015), Cortesi Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland; Paper (2014), SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; Nostalgic for the Future (2013), Lisson Gallery, London, UK; Glasstress: White Light/White Heat (2013), the 55th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale; Great Men Die Twice (2013), Mário Sequeira Gallery, Braga, Portugal; The Materiality of Paint (2012), The Fine Art Society, London, UK.