Chris Martin Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Chris Martin


Acrylic, acrylic gel, paper towels, newsprint and oil on canvas

342.9 x 289.6 cm
Pushing the boundaries between the most sophisticated formalism and outsider art’s instinctive logic, Chris Martin makes abstract painting look enviably effortless. His large scale canvases reflect a zany approach to experimentation and a methodological mode of play, conceiving painting as something intrinsically haptic that resolves from an intimately hands-on negotiation of materials. Martin’s works are renowned for their extremely physical surfaces which are created by collaging found items onto the canvas. In Untitled, the painting’s texture is made from paper towels, newspaper, and acrylic gel – a thick paint-like substance resembling liquid plastic. Over-painting these with a bold graphic motif of a constellation network, Martin references the connective processes of making, placing his topsy-turvy rationale as a field of wonder and contemplation.
Chris Martin
In Memory of James Brown


Oil, acrylic gel medium and collage on canvas

342.9 x 299.7 cm
Martin often uses pop cultural references in his paintings, paying homage to his many influences from the fields of literature, film, and music. By making the sources of his inspiration the subject of his work, Martin shares the ‘behind the scenes’ processes of his practice, giving insight to an approach to abstraction which is informed as much by art history as contemporary media. In Memory of James Brown “Godfather of Soul” is a painting which took 2 years to complete; though Martin’s work often appears playfully spontaneous, this aesthetic is developed through prolonged reconsideration and reworking of the canvas, with some pieces taking
as much as 20 years to finish. The black and white pattern, painted over a collage, resembles both vinyl LPs and an 60s op art – a movement whose revolutionary funkadelic stylings are a worthy tribute to Brown’s legacy.
Chris Martin
Mother Popcorn


Oil and collage on canvas

162.6 x 149.9 cm.

Mother Popcorn takes its title from the James Brown hit which is considered to be one of the most pivotal tracks in the development of his distinctive funk sound. The text along the side of the painting: “James Brown Dances and Directs The Popcorn with the James Brown Band” (the title of Brown’s album) places Martin’s abstract motif as a stand in for pictorial narrative, the loud rhythmic pattern conveying the essence and energy of a live performance. Embedded in the surface is a 12” LP, its extreme texture and readily identifiable shape create a tactile sensation within the painting, giving the canvas a physical dynamic that extends beyond looking and taps into collective memory and experience.

Chris Martin


Acrylic gel, oil, newsprint and banana peel on canvas

122.2 x 96.5 cm
Martin is often described as a genuine “artist’s artist”: his works are as much a celebration of creative experiment and discovery as they are exciting resolutions. Activating his studio as a ‘laboratory’, Martin’s compositions arise as visual intersections or collision points where the artist’s interests, experiences, and ideas converge. Martin’s crude style reflects his concept of painting as speculative ‘concoctions’, their casual and seductive appearance facilitating the appreciation of the intimacy of his practice. In Untitled Martin approaches painting through the devices of slapstick humour. Incorporating banana skins into the surface, he sets up his canvas as a slippery terrain of choreographed folly. Using grotty oranges, yellows, and greens against an oily black ground Martin configures his painting as an abject and spectacular universe, dotted by haloed white spots that dazzle with ‘best-effort’ glamour.

Chris Martin's Biography

Chris Martin
Washington D.C.

Lives & works in Brooklyn, New York


Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

Daniel WeinbergGallery, Los Angeles

Daniel WeinbergGallery, Los Angeles
Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston

Uta Scharf Gallery, New York
Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn

Malca Fine Arts, New York
Galapagos Art and Performance Space, Brooklyn
Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn

Galapagos Art and Performance Space, Brooklyn

Bill Maynes Gallery, New York

Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn,

Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston

Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston

John Good Gallery, New York

Jiminez & Algus Gallery, Brooklyn,

John Good Gallery, New York

Diane Brown Gallery, New York
Philippe Briet Gallery, New York


Artspace, New Haven, CT, Unnameable Things
University of North Carolina, Pembroke, NC, Shape Shifters

Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, Block Party II: An Exhibition of Drawings
D'Amelio Terras, New York, Heralds of Creative Anachronism.
Max Protetch, New York, Unfathom
de Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich, Painting as Fact – Fact as Fiction

Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, Abstract
American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY, Invitational Exhibit
OSP Gallery, Boston, MA, Getting It Right
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, Block Party: An Exhibition of Drawings
Holiday Gallery, Brooklyn, LeslieRoberts, Chris Martin, Gelah Penn
Thorpe Gallery, NY,Everywhichway
ByrdcliffeArts Colony, Woodstock, NY,Inside Out
Black and White Gallery, Brooklyn, Mirror of OurObsessions and Fears
Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, War Is Over

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, NY, The Painted World
Feature Gallery, NY, Meditative
Betty Cunningham Gallery, New York, Paint It Black
Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, Work On Paper
Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, Field Questions
Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, 30th Anniversary Exhibition

Tastes Like Chicken Art Space, Brooklyn, Art of the Neighborhood
Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum, Hagen,Germany, In Face of Silence
J. Johnson Gallery, Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Contemporary New York
June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Portland, ME, Naked
Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA, Luck of the Drawn
Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, Peace
Studio 18 Gallery, New York, “Counterpoise”
N3 Project Space, Brooklyn, The Color Imperative

Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, N.Y., The Invisible Thread
The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, Clear Intentions
Black and White Gallery, Brooklyn The Incredible Lightness of Being

Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, Integrated Sensibilities
Gallery 817, Philadelphia, PA, All Drawing
Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, Merry

Brooklyn Rail Gallery, Brooklyn, Made in Brooklyn
Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA, Waiting List
Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA, Luck of the Drawn
Deutsche Bank Gallery, New York Expanding Tradition

Smack Mellon Studios, Brooklyn, Significant Pursuits: Paint and Geometry
New York Studio School, New York, Painting Abstraction
Malca Fine Art, New York, Fundamental Occurrences
Flipside Gallery, Brooklyn, Flashlight
The State of the Art Gallery, Brooklyn, An Homage to Albert Pinkham Ryder

Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, Rage for Art

Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, NC, Art on Paper
Icon Contemporary Art, Brunswick, ME, The Word on Art
N3 Project Space, Brooklyn, NY, Paintings

Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, Alive and Well - New Painting
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, Current Undercurrents - Working in Brooklyn
Walsh Art Gallery, Fairfield University, CN, Christ in Recent New York Art
Mott Works Gallery, New York, Blanc and White

Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA, Review/Preview
Gallerie de l’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Lorient, France, Le Temps d’un Dessin

Arena Gallery, New York, Contemporary Drawing Part 2
PS1 Museum, Long Island City, Four Walls at PS1- Seven Rooms/Seven Shows

Max Protech Gallery, New York, A New American Flag

The Denver Museum, CO, Visions/Revisions: Selections from theContemporary Collection
Dooley La Cappellaine Gallery, New York, Ecstasy
John Good Gallery, New York, Works on Paper
Tavelli Gallery, Aspen, CO., Young American Painters

Aldrich Museum, CO., Words as Symbols
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CO., Aids Timeline1990
John Good Gallery, New York, Shaman: Apfulbaum, Bueys, Droese, Lucas, Martin, Polke
Karl Bornstein Gallery, Santa Monica, CA., Provocative Abstraction: New
Painting New York

HBO Headquarters, New York, Contemporary Abstract Painting
John Good Gallery, New York, Post Modern Painters
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, California, Lannan Acquisitions
Cyrus Gallery, New York, Painting Between Awareness and Desire

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona,
Spain, Sightings - Drawing with Color
Freedman Gallery, Albright College, PA, Selections from the Edward Albee Collection

The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, Working in Brooklyn