Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

545 West 25th Street, NY 10001, New York, United States
Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm


Martin Eder: DETOX

Marlborough, New York

Tue 30 Apr 2024 to Sat 29 Jun 2024

545 West 25th Street, NY 10001 Martin Eder: DETOX

Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

Artist: Martin Eder

Marlborough presents DETOX, a solo exhibition of recent paintings by the German artist Martin Eder. DETOX is Eder’s first exhibition with the gallery and Marlborough’s final exhibition.

Installation Views

By all accounts, Martin Eder is an academic painter—a technical master of light, surface, and color. Each of the works presented is articulated through oil on canvas. In recent years, however, Eder’s subject matter – in particular, his depictions of female nudes as a male painter in 2024—has been subject to controversy. Beyond the dialogue raised by his depiction of the nude, Eder’s work presents an absurd series of themes portrayed through a disarming aura of kitsch: cats (both demonic and allegorical), toy poodles, and male nudes, for example. The subjects often inhabit landscapes that oscillate between late-capitalist nightmares and antiquity.

In these paintings, one finds countless references to academic painters of bygone centuries whose proclivities and desires have been effaced by museums, high auction prices, and countless scholars. And while one could easily begin to unravel the desires of the painter, it is important to note that these works also serve, and are activated by the viewer’s own desires. Ultimately, DETOX is comprised of the panoply of images commonly found on the Internet today, functioning more as a mirror than a depiction. The question remains: should this body of work be excluded or presented within gallery walls today?

Many in our field would agree that art galleries serve as arbiters of artistic taste and influence, constantly—and to various degrees of subtlety—manipulating an otherwise fickle and unpredictable industry and market. Throughout its long history, Marlborough has mounted exhibitions and represented artists that were considered controversial in their time. Not only have these artists' works endured, but they are now recognized as significant within both the history of commercial art galleries and broader Art History.

With DETOX, perhaps we are then left to contemplate: why should a gallery host an exhibition whose sole purpose is to challenge taste? We leave it to our audience to decide.

Installation view, Martin Eder: DETOX at Marlborough, New York, April 30 - June 29, 2024. Photo: Olympia Shannon

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