Chris Martin - Paris TAZ
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Chris Martin - Paris TAZ

Chris Martin - Paris TAZ
to Sat 23 Dec 2017

VNH Gallery presents American artist Chris Martin’s first solo exhibition in France, titled «Chris Martin – Paris TAZ».

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Most of the recent works presented in the gallery were produced in the artist’s studio in the Catskill Mountains, three hours’ drive from New York City. Inspired by the lush slopes basking in fickle light, Chris Martin experienced there moments that complemented the «inner landscape» whose contours are sketched by his childhood memories of the region. In this environment, the artist experiences singular, profound and unconstrained moments that are one of numerous senses that may be given to the term Temporary Anonymous Zone, or TAZ, invented in 1991 and made popular by «ontological anarchist» Hakim Bey. As either an intimate, fleeting moment or large-scale public demonstration of which the mere mention might provoke its disappearance, a TAZ must escape the realm of res publica to succeed in extricating itself from the predeterminism decreed by contemporary society as a means of ensuring common acceptance of the temporary as a stroke of luck rather than an obstacle to happiness.

According to the artist, freedom means «accepting one’s limits but also accepting one’s obsessions.» While some paintings in the show are interspersed with figurative elements, Chris Martin is fully committed to an abstract style of painting that enables him to access different levels of language and image in limitless expression. In the gallery’s main room, five large-format paintings have appropriated the space. Color, texture and composition instill a beat and embrace visitors upon arrival. Moreover, as a former practitioner of art therapy, Chris Martin noted the popularity of glitter and gold among his patients, which gave him pause and caused him to withdraw from the notion of «good taste,» which banned their use. Then, the idea is to break sharply from figuration and stuffy academic rules in order to retain only that which makes each painting special—a memory, a song, a moment.

«If you ask a bunch of college students Is anyone here an artist? most will say Oh, I can’t paint, I don’t know. Everyone is embarrassed. But if you put on some music and say Anybody want to dance? well, everybody can dance. No one says I haven’t really studied dance. People get up and they have a good time. I’m just saying—that’s good! In the art world, we could all dance a little. Dancing’s fun.» Chris Martin

Chris Martin was born in Washington DC in 1954. He lives and works in New York City. Works by the artist feature in numerous collections worldwide : ALBRIGHT KNOW ART GALLERY, Buffalo (USA), MUSEUM BOIJMANS VAN BEUNINGEN, Rotterdam (Netherlands), THE CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART, Washington, D.C. (USA), DENVER ART MUSEUM, Denver (USA), COLLEZIONE MARAMOTTI, Reggio Emilia (Italy), THE HIGH MUSEUM, Atlanta (USA), THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, Chicago (USA), THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, Denver (USA), THE NERMAN MUSEUM, Kansas City (USA), SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (USA), THE SAATCHI GALLERY, London (UK)

Photo: Claire Dorn. Courtesy of the artist & VNH Gallery
 
 

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