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Leigh Martin’s Glossy Resin Paintings

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Installation shot of Leigh Martin's Wasabi Sunrise exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #1, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 1200 x 1150 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Installation shot of Leigh Martin's Wasabi Sunrise exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #2, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 1200 x 1150 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Installation shot of Leigh Martin's Wasabi Sunrise exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #3, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 1200 x 1150 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Installation shot of Leigh Martin's Wasabi Sunrise exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #4, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 1200 x 1150 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Installation shot of Leigh Martin's Wasabi Sunrise exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #5, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 2270 x 2180 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Installation shot of Leigh Martin's Wasabi Sunrise exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #6, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 800 x 700 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Installation shot of Leigh Martin's Wasabi Sunrise exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #7, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 1300 x 1200 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #8, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 1300 x 1200 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Leigh Martin, Untitled #9, 2022, synthetic resin and pigment on canvas, 1200 x 1150 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Within the resin layers some have ‘brusherly' chromatic swathes—enclosing negative spaces—made by twisting squeegees and repeatedly layered over, or manipulating the poured-on stretcher. Other fields are more fragmented, blurred and mottled, or darker with spots and grainy textures like gravel that seem like prints—bearing a strong sense of collapsing aggregation.

Auckland

 

Leigh Martin
Wasabi Sunrise

 

8 July - 6 August 2022

Downstairs in the large gallery of Two Rooms Leigh Martin presents nine colourful squarish paintings of layered poured transparent resin, like those he is already well known for. These new ones differ in that there is more emphasis on background elements that are sometimes so textured and gritty they look like a diffuse monoprint process or frottage. There is an increasing spatial complexity within the super glossy picture-plane.

Many of these varied sized works are a hot transparent pink, some with undercoats of green or blue that affect the tone of the base. They could allude to fruity food flavourings. They could also allude to danger or toxicity: sugary mists with ominous harmful potentialities.

Within the resin layers some have ‘brusherly’ chromatic swathes—enclosing negative spaces—made by twisting squeegees and repeatedly layered over, or manipulating the poured-on stretcher. Other fields are more fragmented, blurred and mottled, or darker with spots and grainy textures like gravel that seem like prints-bearing a strong sense of collapsing aggregation.

This gives a real depth to the works and a vaguely graphic quality with drama. They become less jellylike in their transparent planes, and though optically immersive and filmy, more palpable. More maritime; less ethereal hue-loaded puddles that overlap but never mingle physically.

The largest work, Untitled #5, combines pink / mauve immersiveness with yellow and orange blotches peeking out around the stretcher edges to create a strange tunnelling effect. Its mood changes as you approach the less chromatically complicated scumbled centre, away from the hotter streaky mottled ‘frame’.

Because most of the works are pink-based, the very few green or bluish canvases become a refreshing foil, as sheets of misty landscape that punctuate the pristine Two Rooms space and the dominant pink. Darker background textures (sweeping strokes or intricately granulated) are what give these recent Martin works their appeal.

John Hurrell

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