Blum & Poe is pleased to present Pigeon Sweat, the gallery’s second solo exhibition with Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez.
This new suite of large-scale paintings captures Martinez’s mastery of revealing the representational through abstraction. He channels speed, impulse, and automatism in combination with tradition and art historical precedents, manifesting compositions that are simultaneously journalistic and autobiographical. With Pigeon Sweat, Martinez records snippets of life as it happens—quotidian vignettes in which Raid cans aim at wasps, foliage crawls a loggia wall, and toys litter a toddler’s floor. Variously combining oil, enamel, and spray paint on canvas, Martinez also often layers unexpected materials from the studio in his collaged surfaces—perhaps a discarded baby wipe lending dimension to the wing of a butterfly painting.
The exhibition’s eponymous artwork, Pigeon Sweat (2021), is a still life with vibrant blocks of color and expressive strokes. Against a strawberry-milkshake-pink background, cartoonish forms cluster together at the painting’s center with imagery that conjures loose associations and dreamlike meanderings. Sneakers, plant leaves, a clown’s profile? With color planes peeking out from layers of overpainting, these shapes serve as vehicles for surfing one’s own subconscious. The title itself is scrawled beneath as part of the composition, defining the painting architecturally.
The painting Loggia (2021) belongs to Martinez’s ongoing Whiteout series—with densely packed landscapes and animated flora painted over in white, his rich signature hues washed over in white. The bulbous and biomorphic plant forms depict the loggia of the Los Angeles gallery’s garden and in this tonal range and state of partial-erasure appear pale, delicate, almost ghost-like. All Space (2021) exemplifies Martinez’s robustly active and spontaneous pseudo-representational painting style, replete with various signifiers from the artist’s personal iconographic lexicon. The checkered blockhead, a longstanding caricature from the Martinez-verse, makes an appearance within a landscape of thick brushstrokes and energetic, gestural mark-making. Rendered with bold forms, strong lines, highly textured surfaces, and a distinctive personal visual vernacular honed over many years, each body of work in this presentation conceals and reveals that which lives under the surface.
Eddie Martinez (b. 1977, Groton Naval Base, CT) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Martinez’s unconventional practice has received growing institutional support with five museum solo shows in the last four years, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, MI and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China in 2019, a show of new sculptures and paintings at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY in 2018, an exhibition that featured a rotating display of his recent works on paper at the Drawing Center, New York, NY in 2017, and an exhibition at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA in 2017. His works are represented in international public collections including the Aurora Museum, Shanghai, China; Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY; Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; Hiscox Collection, London, UK; La Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Marciano Collection, Los Angeles, CA; Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; RISD Museum, Providence, RI; Saatchi Collection, London, UK; and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China, among others.