Perrotin is pleased to participate in Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel
at Fine Art Asia 2020, with a solo booth featuring newly-created works by Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez.
On view are an eight-meter canvas painting, two works from the artist’s flower series, and a selection of paintings on cardboard. The monumental painting is one of the largest Martinez has showcased publicly to date, following his solo exhibition, Open Feast, at Yuz Museum in Shanghai in 2019.
Martinez is known for his poignant approach that combines figuration with abstraction, taking influences from the iconography in his surrounding environment and culture. His work reflects elements of art historical movements such as action painting, neo-expressionism, and CoBrA. Fascinated by CoBrA group’s “practice of experimentation and their haphazard stream of consciousness approach,” Martinez likens their unfiltered mark-making to an embrace of the child’s hand.1 Such inspirations are manifested in the artist’s energetic brushstrokes, and a bold and vivid palette.
Speed permeates the oeuvre of Martinez, regardless of scale, often embodied by his unique organic shapes, and quick swerving contours that resemble extemporaneous drawings or doodles. Doodling, a form of drawing generally undervalued and rarely touched upon in art, plays a significant role in the practice of Martinez, who has the habit of drawing incessantly – be it on the road, at restaurants, or inside waiting rooms. These daily doodles from his notebooks often become the foundation or even blueprint of the artist’s finished drawings and paintings. Known for his intuitive process and spontaneous use of eclectic mediums – from oil paint, spray paint, acrylic and crayon, to debris and baby wipes – the artist ingeniously achieves distinctive texture on artistic surfaces, projecting a sense of immediacy and endless invention.
In this presentation, Martinez continues his playful dialogue between the realms of figuration and abstraction. Immediately capturing the viewer’s attention is the large-scale painting that comprehensively showcases his signature artistic techniques. Strikingly spread across an entire wall of the booth, the work features a rich composition of the artist’s itinerant imagery including blockheads, humanoid figures, tennis balls and potted flowers, while an exuberant combination of colors is inimitably balanced by his recurring whiteout technique. Rather than erasure, Martinez regards the obliteration of painted parts as an essential exploration of how revisions factor into the process of constructing a painting.
Complementing the centerpiece, Martinez’s flower series revisits the classical formal composition of still life with his deft manipulation of line and color, while his paintings on cardboard exemplify the challenge of achieving a richly textured surface on a rudimentary material. Presented with Perrotin for the first time, these works were accomplished in the same gestural manner of drawing – painted flat – and are enhanced by an added sculptural element: the artist’s handmade frames.
 Interview with Eddie Martinez by Alison Gingeras in Fresh Kills
Views of Perrotin’s booth at Hong Kong Spotlight, 2020. Photo: Ringo Cheung. © Eddie Martinez. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.