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The New Figurative

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Gallery: Joanne Artman

New York

Artist: America Martin

Fearless, bold use of line and color, a profound sense of form and space - the work of America Martin transcends cultural as well as internalized gender aesthetics in a conversation with universal, underlying themes of beauty, nature, and the human form. Formal idealization of the figure exists for both genders and although the exact form this “perfect” figure takes has changed over time, there are certain standards of beauty related to gender that are constant in addition to ingrained ideas of the essential male and female. JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Mart... more >> Fearless, bold use of line and color, a profound sense of form and space - the work of America Martin transcends cultural as well as internalized gender aesthetics in a conversation with universal, underlying themes of beauty, nature, and the human form. Formal idealization of the figure exists for both genders and although the exact form this “perfect” figure takes has changed over time, there are certain standards of beauty related to gender that are constant in addition to ingrained ideas of the essential male and female. JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Martin’s recent work that explores nuances of gender perception by addressing the formal aspects of gender constructs.

Although Martin’s focus is primarily on the female form, aspects of gender neutrality and ambiguity permeate her work. Both male and female figures are solid in width and girth, commanding the space that they occupy within her work, lacking most of the gendered signs of normative beauty standards. Women are distinguishable through their generally rounder forms and associations with nature, while the male figures are portrayed through a more angular approach. However, there is a distinct de-sexualization in the appearance of both genders such as in Martin’s emphasis on expressive, exaggerated hands and feet that draw us to inherent similarities and androgyny within both genders, rather than the differences that separate them. Narrative compositions place these figures in various contexts that speak to archetypal, universal themes of the human condition.

Martin explores new modes of representation throughout her practice approaching the human form through a diversity of mediums. Expressive of her Colombian-American heritage and rooted in modernism, Martin’s visual language feels iconic and familiar as the artist utilizes the essential elements of line, form and color in vibrant, humanist compositions.


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