Working from a heterogeneous array of cultural traditions, Chris Martin (b. 1954, Washington, D.C.) makes paintings that serve as living documents of the eternal present. He privileges stylistic diversity and immediacy over predetermined aesthetic ideas, generating an art that can be as primal as it is knowing, as vibrantly joyful as it is meditative and hermetic. He has experimented with non-art materials, non-traditional installation, and extreme scale. For this reason, Martin’s career is characterized by an evolution of thematic cycles rather than strictly linear development. The overt influences—musical, spiritual, and art historical—that appear throughout his work are acknowledgments of his desire to return to a common well, or universally accessible source of inspiration. Martin is a revered and influential figure in the artistic community in Brooklyn, New York, where he has been based since the 1980s.
Chris Martin has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions worldwide, including David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2022); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2015); Rectangle, Brussels (2015); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany (2011); and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2011). Recent group exhibitions include Black Light, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain (2018); Animal Farm, Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut (2017); and Thinking Out Loud: Notes on an Evolving Collection, The Warehouse, Dallas (2017). His paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among other museums. Paintings, a career-spanning monograph, was published by Skira in 2017. Martin lives and works in Brooklyn and the Catskills, New York.
Attilia Fattori Franchini