Solana Beach, California – Madison Gallery presents TRISTAN CHORD, Donald Martiny’s 4th solo exhibition with Madison Gallery, is so titled for the opening phrase of Wagner’s opera, Tristan and Isolde. This collection consists of multi-components, harmonizing in minimal, tonal work and made of polymer and pigments.
“The art of Donald Martiny exists somewhere between painting and sculpture. We are confronted with a singular brushstroke, huge, a seemingly spontaneous, lavish eruption of color and texture on the wall. It is the mark distilled from painting, the formerly minute detail writ large, what we usually discover as a hidden and obscured part of the whole is made to be the whole itself, the entire work a gesture on the wall.
Such dramatic works are fit for public art – Martiny is currently preparing to install a large work on the exterior of a building in Raleigh, North Carolina and is well known for his permanent displays in the lobby of One World Trade Center in New York City. But they also lend themselves to powerful aesthetic experiences in more intimate galleries, as will be evident in upcoming solo shows in February 2021 at Madison Gallery in Solana Beach, California and in March 2021 at the Scala del Bovoli in Venice, Italy.
How did Martiny come to these oversized gestural works? Normally, the canvas frames the work, or else is itself framed, and the plane delineated by the canvas’ edge creates the ground from which a figure will arise. Sometimes the figures are strictly representational of human forms, of flora and fauna, and other times we are treated to compositions suggestive of moods, abstract expressions of a concept or emotion and so on. Whatever the content, whatever level of literalness present within the edges of the canvas, there is something that stands out from the ground of the canvas. The canvas itself sinks into the background and by becoming this background makes it possible for whatever appears to the viewer to appear. But there is no canvas to form the ground of Martiny’s work. The wall on which the work is mounted becomes the ground, the room itself, the gallery or museum is the ground.” -Donovan Irven – White Hot Magazine