Todd Merrill Studio is pleased to present the work of artist Knox Martin. Born in 1923 in Barranquilla, Colombia to an American father and Colombian mother, New York-based painter Knox Martin is widely recognized for his lively, vibrant paintings that employ a distinct visual vocabulary of signs and symbols, often referencing nature and the female form. With their large shapes, brilliant colors, and complex compositions, Martin’s works are immediately recognizable for their free execution and pop sensibility.
Having grown up in New York City across from the building of the Hispanic Society of America, Martin became fascinated by the works of Goya. After serving in World War II, Martin attended the Art Students’ League of New York on the G.I. Bill, where he studied under Vaclav Vytlacil, Will Barnet, and Morris Kantor.
In 1954, Knox Martin’s professional career took off when Franz Kline selected one of his paintings for inclusion in the Stable Gallery Annual. Dealer Charles Egan took note of Martin’s painting at the Stable Gallery and invited the artist to produce a one-man exhibition at his eponymous gallery. For a 1954 New York Times review of the show at the Charles Egan Gallery, Stuart Preston wrote the following: “It is in his ecstatic pen and brush drawings of women that Martin shows himself to be a draftsman of exceptional power and assurance; some are hastily done, but even the most lively scribbles throb with a particular intensity, both visual and sensational, that causes one to remember that Spanish warmth counts a lot for him, and that the blood of Goya is in his veins.”
At 94, Martin’s six decade career has garnered attention from critics and collectors alike. One of the last living members of the New York School, his works have been placed in over 40 important museum collections in the US and internationally. In addition, the playful nature of Martin’s paintings has been realized into numerous large-scale mural commissions. Martin’s abstract paintings are marked by impeccable draftsmanship, a unique palate and simple shapes in complex compositions.
Materials: Acrylic on linen
Dimensions: 12H x 16W inches
©Knox Martin/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
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