Martin Greenland won the John Moores Painting Prize in 2006 with his painting ‘Before Vermeer's Clouds’ and for most of the past thirty years those who know his work will have seen a predominance for landscape. Within this work, elements, themes and motifs have come and gone and recent paintings have become purer as landscapes, this being the biggest joy for him; to purely invent landscape, as this is what these works are; complete, improvised inventions, even if these pictured places are sometimes rooted in real places. He uses all his skills as a painter and what he knows and can remember so the viewer is absolutely convinced of the landscape's reality.
In recent times he has often made paintings in a way which can be described as the mirror opposite of the landscapes; that is, completely and directly scrutinised still lifes. He has long been convinced that new life can be brought to this, for many, stale genre. Martin is tired of the laziness, the cliché, the lack of meaning which so much still life has so his new work brings something a little different; irony, a sense of humour, a dedication to tradition but also a shaking up of that tradition and most important, inscrutable painterly accuracy.
I am delighted to invite you to the Private View for the exhibition on Thursday 29 September 2016. Martin will be attending so it’s a great opportunity to meet with him and discuss his work. This exhibition features both large and small works, recently painted in oils.
Each artist in the Corke Gallery Exhibition makes use of ubiquitous and often found materials of their post-industrial urban landscape – concrete, aerosol paints, rubbish, cigarette packets, crisp packets, paper advertising – as substrate or media, source material or reference.
Park Hill is currently undergoing regeneration and as such is an interesting place to observe. Part of the estate has undergone transformation into shiny, luxury flats whilst half remains boarded up and derelict.
Spending time at Park Hill reinforced to her that concrete is the unifying link throughout the site. With this in mind she has been working with materials that are integral to the estate itself, namely concrete (which she has mixed both into the paint and as a substrate) and aerosol spray paint (referencing the graffiti).
(Oil on canvas)
The inherent picturesqueness (roughness and irregularity) of the abandoned, derelict and the unplanned space is a virtuous subject matter, now politically as well as aesthetically, for the artist.
(Oil on canvas)
So rather than go hunting for these already ‘turned over’ sites he make his own: low-tech follies of his imagination and experiences mixed with references to historic and contemporary English landscape ideologies, design and use constructed to achieve a certain verisimilitude when viewed through the camera lens.