Statement

Guy Martin comes from a family of artists. He possesses a natural instinct for making and working in three dimensions. Studying sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art was followed by a long period working as the trusted assistant of Anthony Caro. It was that training and experience, combined with continuing curiosity that makes each phase of his work compelling.

During the periods of his career during in which he explored the sculptural structures of furniture and the volume and construction of small buildings, this work was underwritten by a continuous commitment to drawing and applying an informed visual sensibility. He taught drawing and design at Parnham College, challenging the student furniture makers to understand modernist work in all of the visual arts. He pushed them well beyond the decorative and the functional. Now back working on his own in his maturity, he has remained engagingly restless.

He carries his skills as a draftsman, as a craftsman and a designer lightly. Assembling his new sculptures with the combinations of appropriate materials to hand: wood, concrete, plaster and steel present few problems. He is able to concentrate on what each work might convey overall. There is awareness that each part of the work he puts together carries its own particularity and that by introducing it and uniting its relationship to the other components, he has the power to orchestrate each part of the whole.

Guy Martin has experienced and understood the qualities of minimalism and modernism. He is embracing a new episode in which the work he is making carries more complex metaphors, which stand strong in the contemporary arena. They can be set lightly upon the skin of the earth and make us smile or call our attention in a quizzical way. On a level that transcends words they can be deeply nourishing whilst challenging our understanding and our feelings. These are sensory objects and they need to be given space and time; as in a good poem they are best read more than once and will reward the viewers who return to them and allow them time.

Andy Christian