Fergus Martin has been exhibiting with Green On Red Gallery since 1994 and his artistic practice is primarily concerned with visual experience and how energy and form meet to effect our visual landscape. While Martin is primarily renowned as a painter, his practice has widened over recent years to include object-making, working with digital photography and collaboratively with Anthony Hobbs. This exhibition, Storm, is a show that returns to Martin’s original preoccupation with painting and post-conceptual minimalism. The exhibition will consist of five to seven canvases. These works are elongated horizontal canvases with colour cut into precisely arranged areas which contrast the smaller exposed fields of white primed canvas. The resulting tension between the physiological force of the colour and the geometric order of the canvas, create works that frustrate the viewer’s perceptual gaze. These works are elongated to the point that the viewer cannot take in the whole of the canvas at close range. They wrest the outer corners of our gaze in the same way that they at once reference memory and meaning and environment and presence.
When I lived in Italy I used to love the words mare mosso and mare molto mosso on the shipping forecast.
They were very haunting.
I remembered this when I was working. I made a rough dark colour which almost scared me to use but which made me think of the tug and pull of the sea.
I think this energy or memory is present in the different kinds of paintings.
Looking at them, I feel that the ones with rectangles force more energy into less space. So there’s a greater sense of compression. There’s more movement. Violent, almost.
I think of the paintings with squares as being slower - their presence, or inner movement, more brooding.
There’s a rhythm between all the paintings. They’re moving at different speeds, but they’re speeds of slowness.