After graduating from Goldsmiths College in London in 1993, Martin began honing a very particular painting practice. Using a fine comb, the artist would sweep oil or acrylic paint across aluminium, stainless steel or Plexiglass to create swirling, monochromatic compositions, as in Detox (1999) and Lover (1997). 1997 marked Martin’s breakthrough exhibition: “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection” at the Royal Academy of Art in London, where he stood out for the lack of figuration in his work. The Young British Artists (YBA’s) began exhibiting as a group in 1988 and became known for their shock factor, experimentation with materials and processes, and entrepreneurial savvy. The members dominated the 1990s art scene, and to this day are some of the world’s most successful contemporary artists.
In the 2000s, Martin began to blur the boundaries between painting and sculpture through his use of metal casting. For works like Sloe (2013), the artist raked plaster across a flat surface then cast it in nickel to create an unctuous, sculptural fossilization of mark-making.
Although he creates an intentional ambiguity between painting and sculpture, Martin holds color as a central thread across his practice. The artist returned to oil in recent years, exploring harmonic relationships between hues, as included in titles such as Untitled (Titanium white/ Prussian blue/ Scheveningen black) from 2018.
Jason Martin was born in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, in 1970 and lives and works between London and Portugal. Solo exhibitions include Lisson Gallery, London, UK (2019); STPI, Singapore (2018); Lisson Gallery, New York, NY, USA (2018); Thaddaeus Ropac, France (2018); Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, Germany (2017); Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Otterndorf, Germany (2016); Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy (2009); Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporary de Palma, Majorca, Spain (2008); Kunstverein Kreis Gŭtersloh, Gutersloh, Germany (2007); and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (2005).