American artist Lloyd Martin, known internationally for his rhythmically constructed abstract painting, continues his engagement with color and line in this outstanding body of work. Critic John Goodman wrote that Martin's paintings "achieve a Mondrianesque climax of rhythm." And it is this sense of movement, of rhythm, of flow that delights the eye as it is drawn along the forms and juxtapositions of bright-hued lush colors that are characteristic of the artist's recent work. In critic Maureen Mullarkey's words, Martin's paintings "approach the character of music."
Writers often reference Mondrian and music when describing Martin's work. In these paintings, each note holds its own, yet there is a velocity of linear movement. Martin's work is characterized by a sensuous quality in the sometimes-brushy aggression of one vibrant color pushing against another. For the viewer there is a visual pleasure in editing details of the work, allowing the eye to settle on a square here a rectangle there and imagining paintings within paintings.
Martin has for a long time explored the architectural environment around his studio and his paintings reveal a framework and structure that reference architecture. Although clearly abstract, Martin's paintings are still grounded in the real world. And this architectural structure gives the work a sense of gravity, giving weight to his flights of vibrant color. The painter's gifted handling of paint and color and his visceral love for the medium are evidenced in the remarkable variety within a work. Martin has always sought a pictorial truth and his intense engagement with the challenge and problem solving of abstract work is palpable. There is a kind of joy in the result that is communicated to the viewer with an engaging immediacy.
Lloyd Martin is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. The art world press has often covered his work and he has been the recipient of many fellowships in painting as well as two in drawing, revealing his heightened awareness of line and form. That skill is evident in his Landfall Press series of prints in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
These paintings reflect some strategies I have explored over a number of years and within several bodies of work. Some of which include staged painting events that occur as an overlay and are contained in a synthetic logic. The physicality of the painting process having the ability to subvert formal intention. Interrupted formalities allowing for unpredicted results. The language of process is reveled and can provide the viewer access to experience the actions and decision making process. Associations of spatial assumptions that occur as curious retinal events.