press release

Fergus Martin makes use of the world around him as a source for his paintings, sculpture and photographs. His work reflects things seen or even fleeting moments from the everyday. The geometric forms that consistently appear in his work give shape to his preoccupation with space, form and materials. This is also present in his new wall sculpture, Hoops, a continuation of his thinking in his other work, Steel, a permanent sculpture commissioned by The Office of Public Works for the entrance to The Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Steel takes the form of three stainless steel barrel-like structures, which are installed on the pediments of the double gateway. The work has a timeless quality, uniting IMMA’s historic setting with its present-day function as the country’s leading centre for modern and contemporary art. They have been likened to everything from 18th century thunder machines to vanilla ice cream containers.

While Steel is very concrete and definite, Hoops is more like a transparent funnel of air, very light and floating. An echo, in another form perhaps, of Martin’s long green painting, In The Air.

In 2008/2009 Dublin City Gallery - The Hugh Lane hosted a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by Martin. Barbara Dawson, director Dublin City Gallery - The Hugh Lane wrote in her essay in the monograph Fergus Martin, published on occasion of that exhibition: “Fergus Martin’s work presents us with an elevated and distilled expression. His geometric forms are austere and simple; the horizontals of single colour would cover the entire surface of the painting but for the insistent and recurrent introduction of a white square. The regular planes of colour create a visual ensemble reminiscent of a musical variation. As they physically interact with their architectural surroundings, they initiate a separate space and time within their location.”

Gerry McCarthy (Sunday Times) wrote of this exhibition : “art that does not insist upon overt meanings can serve as a powerful vehicle for the public or artistic mood. With no need to project concrete meanings, (Martin’s) art is like a sponge and a mirror: it soaks up what is in the air and reflects it back. He draws our eyes to differences rather than trying to swamp them with mindless repetition."

Also in 2008/2009, Fergus Martin took part in Yo’ Mo’ Modernism at CCNOA ( Centre for Contemporary Non-Objective Art) Brussels, and Discussions in Contemporary Sculpture at The Dock , Carrick-on-Shannon.

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Fergus Martin
New Work