Notes from the “Workshop Journal”




Robert Hughes says that art does not immediately change the society, at least the plastic art, but it helps to change the sensitivities of this society. There is his limitation and his greatness. Perhaps some artists lament the lack of immediate dynamic force, lack of revulsion revolutionary regards the visual arts and visual, while if it is conceivable that such a force more palpable and evident literature may have or at least print. Do not forget that our culture is above all literary addict and clinging to the alphabet, but in the last century, the image and the visual arts are imposed with poise and variety and I would not predict whether in the coming millennium not will reverse the order of priorities. All these considerations come to mind when contemplating the curd plastic work of Robert Martin (Bilbao, 1960). With the light, matter and form, the tables in this Basque painter achieve a strong intensity, his ability to provoke emotion and sensitivity approach is surprising. With his talent for the suggestion based on texture and blurred images, signs and symbols enigmatic artist achieves this high condensation lyrical pieces, his paintings are able to move with brilliant poetic accents. What is the world of this young artist? His first exhibition dates from the early 80's at the Eighth National Painting Contest Youth Art Black and White, from there, his paintings have been exhibited in various forums, mostly Basques, and some international. In Madrid more than one set in his work for its rich dose of emotion and suggestion. for its balanced mixed media. mostly on canvas and especially the mysterious accent of his compositions, most of the label of "Untitled," as if to respect the sensibilities of the viewer to contemplate the painting without mediation, and provide their personal and subjective references before the image and the textured material.



Egypt as an excuse 




"Egypt as an excuse" was the title of his latest solo exhibition in Madrid. The generic title, ironically, is a declaration of principles of what he meant by the adventure and the commitment of paint. A reference or a wink to a place like Egypt with all the burdens that carries resonance in culture, history, art and civilization serve as a starting point for the artist faces the blank canvas and from there you start working with the light, matter and texture, in which Robert Martin has taken great care of his career plastic. A web to support their pigments are added and enriched elements that develop mixed media characterizes him: oil, sand, plaster, lacquer, gold leaf ... and you work with passion, precision, carefully. The result is so refined, so far from the raw materials used and gross, which the viewer is amazed and reminded of that great quote from Baudelaire who hated the brutality and skill of sculpture by the immediacy of their materials and left fascinated by the ilu-Zionism of painting with its best suggestion in the spirit. "Painting is an evocation, a magical operation and when the character evoked when resurrected the idea is incorporated and looks at us face to face, we do not have the right (or at least would be the height of childishness) to discuss ways evocative the witch. " Interestingly, the French poet sorcerer qualify for the painter, as it did two years ago the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris to propose the major exhibition "Magicians of the Earth" where a large sample of plastic parts and artifacts from around the world appeared as suggestive objects, pulsating, almost sacred, sprung from the hands of an artist who once called or could be called a magician.




The human footprint


In the painting of Robert Martin is the clear imprint of his work from his hand, his touch, his gesture at the time of proposing a signical images alternating with light scratches on the actions and stucco sgraffito as a voluntary or Occasional alleged perpetrator or the patina of time. In a taste for action on the matter late teaching a master like Tapies. Robert Martin's paintings show us the beauty of the trace and the presence of Man, the sobriety of a surface eroded by certain imponderables to offer the beauty of quicksilver planes, images and narratives possible and impossible to hide behind some ocher and some fillings that offer the qualities of the oxide after the moisture and the passage of days. But the Basque artist has not given in the theory that sometimes vulgar of Arte Povera or of dry matter. His taste and love of color makes pink, blue, yellow, sienna and gold emerge with subtlety and presence in his paintings bleached or quicksilver. Robert Martin has refused to do without the color and language and ability to evoke and in this sense, in tune with the tradition of great painting. In some of his paintings is perceived elemental of some figures and signs as the spiral, the broken line in zig-zag, small circles, parallel bands or lost graffiti individual letters or phrases articulated. The fund, the general surface of the picture, always work-Jado with those pasty and crosshatched textures to which we are accustomed to the painter. For some theoretical and Ull-mann the sign would be equal to more significant meaning, more extrasígnica reality. For Bense, the sign would not be in itself an object but coordination (...) something that is coordinated as a means to an object for an interpreter or interpreter interpreter, receiver. In any case, the common note is that the sign is always understood as something else rather than under some aspect or point of view or according to some practical use. In the case of artistic sign, your notes are specific according to the contextuality Simon Marchan, self-reflection, ambiguity, polysemy, the automatic release of language, violation of the conventions and codes, etc. With the plus or minus two of deformation geometry or the author's mind, Roberto Martin does not do anything but take the idea of a sensitive, subjective and synthetic. In his need to paint has gone to tell his real or imaginary trip to Fernando Pessoa-mode by Egypt or anywhere else without an immediate reference to the model, as shown in its imaginación.y fantasy and summarized in a synthesis , so that the idea has been plastically transformed. Then comes the viewer's gaze on these paintings "Untitled" and rated as a single proposal number: the reference to Egypt. There, his attitude is free-as was the creative moment for the artist to see stairs in a ravine, to guess the luxury of some ancient frescoes on the surface of the fabric, to guess or borders frets sumptuous palaces of old, where time has acted smartly. In some cases the literal is stronger (the weight of our book culture) and the viewer struggles to read a sort of implied a registration window pop that almost says "Nefertiti I love you ', a declaration of love for princess, goddess and woman, a clear evocation to Egypt as an excuse that gave name to the series. The area also has its language and works such as Robert Martin is even more eloquent. almost golden ochres and the same application of gold leaf to give brilliance and magnificence about tables that can detect doors, windows and passages lead us to believe that the Basque artist has a profound meditation on time, on history, men, matter and space. Those who know him speak of the deep, dark pathos and emotion conveyed by the paintings that the artist painted after the death of his father. It was a dramatic display, an entire plastic elegy mourning after the time lived. Later, "Egypt as an excuse" him back to a meditation on time spent in the old civilization mother, before and for some better than Greece and Rome. Other times, Roberto Martin played with the hand and investment on the scale of the object, something deeply rooted in modern painting, and we can see in some of his paintings a drink or object of worship out of context, outlined in his drawing and reduced to the simplicity of the contour of its forms. His painting "Fan and eye" is also inserted into this dynamic of the essence of objects and forms that leads to mind as the essence of the free look.



- Robert Martin's painting is rich, creamy, buttery and suggestive contains stimulants if all the elements that led to Baudelaire to love the illusion of flatness of a painting against the overwhelming rotundity of the third dimension.