Article by Harriet Thorpe in London; Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014
Timothy Taylor Gallery Entrance; Photo by Harriet Thorpe
Timothy Taylor Gallery is located at 15 Carlos Place, on a curving street just off Grosvenor Square in the smart Mayfair conservation area. The area is landscaped with luxury fashion boutiques and a fountain, while porters in top hats greet guests outside the neighbouring Connaught Hotel.
The building is a former bank, with tall wooden doors and a lion knocker. Inside, grey concrete floors and white walls present a contemporary contrast. The gallery was designed by Eric Parry Architects. One large L-shaped space is punctuated by pillars, with a smaller project room to the side.
Timothy Taylor Gallery has also done the rounds of the Mayfair gallery district, it first opened in 1996 at Bruton Place (where Sadie Coles previously was) and then moved to Dering Street in 2003 (where Blain Southern was for a while). The Carlos place gallery opened in 2007.
Eddie Martinez – “Untitled” (2013), Marker pen, enamel and crayon on paper – 21.6 x 27.9cm ; Photo by Harriet Thorpe
Eddie Martinez -“Untitled” (2013), wood, rubber, foam, plastic, metal, plaster, enamel, spray paint, epoxy – 45.7 x 17.8 x 43.2cm; Photo by Harriet Thorpe
Eddie Martinez is a Brooklyn-based artist who works with drawings, paintings, and has recently ventured into sculpture. Bright colour runs like a thread through all of his work and for ‘Island I,’ blue, yellow and red could not be more evocative of sky, sand, and life. The canvases represent a window into a lifestyle, relaxed but focussed, paint is uncontrolled and free-spirited. Line and composition seem to form their own pathway, which Martinez follows.
The work draws from his summer at his studio in Long Island. The paintings absorbed the noise of music and conversations that happened in his studio, reflecting a portrait in action of Martinez’s life. Although the works appear energetic, a tennis injury procured over the summer was another personal factor that changed his natural rhythm and production of the work. The eye is a recurring motif in his works, through which Martinez references the Rastafarian concept of ‘I and I,’ a more equal way of saying ‘you and me’ which expresses the belief that all people are equal.
Eddie Martinez – “Life Spider” (2014), oil, enamel, spray paint on canvas – 152.4 x 121.9cm; Photo by Harriet Thorpe
Glenn O’Brien wrote in a 2011 catalogue for the exhibition ‘Studio Drawings’ at Half Gallery that, “Martinez isn’t afraid to make abstract expressionist paintings or cubist paintings… [he] isn’t snowed by the notion of progress in art.” He refers to how Martinez quotes artists and movements from history, aware of trends but developing at his own pace. Styles are lifted from abstract expressionists, shapes from Philip Guston, colours from Picasso and moods from De Kooning.
There is a performative element to the works, because the canvases are so big. Martinez takes small drawings and scales them up in size and media onto large canvases. In the project room at Timothy Taylor, a wall of framed drawings shows the origins of the paintings. Here the artist is very comfortable, the works are intimate, less physical. In the same room: a line of small sculptures, which are approached in a similar way to the drawings, experimental and contained. He creates the sculptures from found objects, collected from around or nearby his studio. These accumulated forms reflect again a non-figurative portrait of the artists life and surroundings.
Eddie Martinez – Installation View, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2014); Photo by Harriet Thorpe
TIMOTHY TAYLOR GALLERY
“Island I” – EDDIE MARTINEZ
Exhibition: Oct. 13 – Nov. 08, 2014
15 Carlos Place, London (click here for map)