Fair Touching

Sam Martineau

Book launch: Saturday, October 27, 6 – 8 pm

Opening reception: Saturday, September 15, 6 – 8 pm
September 15 – October 21, 2012

Selected Works

For immediate release

Rawson Projects is very proud to announce its second solo exhibition with Sam Martineau. The artist will debut a new series of paintings and a selection of works on paper.

A full-color catalogue will be produced on occasion of the exhibition, which is also the gallery's second year anniversary. A conversation between the gallery and the artist follows.

Rawson Projects: First, as we discussed, I find it difficult to ask questions about your work in the sense that it is very formal. A lot of contemporary artists use abstraction as a cloak of naivety in the sense that the works are actually about the artist or the culture of the art world.

They are very self-aware. Decisions you make, while clearly influenced by specific interests of yours, don’t seem to relate to any larger conceptual agenda. Do you agree? What is the appeal of this formal process for you?

Sam Martineau: I Agree. The paintings come from a very hands-on creative/visual process… mixing paint, seeking material and finding its arrangement on a single plane. The work stems from a more traditional form of Abstract painting.

The appeal to this process is something like a diet. You reduce certain elements and find variation and results within the limitations, so it becomes a way of refining and keeping things open at the same time.

RP: Another thing that has always struck me about your paintings is that while each is very different from the next, you maintain continuity throughout the entire body of work by choosing a standard size or by repeating certain formal motifs or elements. In my mind, this relates very strongly to your studio practice. You set aside time to paint almost every day, your studio is in your home, and you live with the paintings. Do you think your studio practice informs the paintings?

SM: Yes. The results of this studio practice can range from drawings, collage, writing and most definitely… just sitting and looking at the work. I believe the paintings are something like an index to this practice – a place to put thoughts and actions. Maintaining a consistent format or size, I feel, establishes that each idea for a painting is just as interesting or valid as the next. In a way, it keeps the whole thing going.

RP: Is the regimented nature of this practice something that comes naturally to you, or did it develop specifically with this body of work?

SM: I tend to spend a lot of time working in the studio whether I am showing or not. It’s something of a necessity and healthy thing to attend to. So, yes, it is natural, and, at its best, a momentum develops in the form of generating ideas and completing paintings. Regarding this body of work, the dial in the studio has been set to high for sure.

RP: When we discussed paintings for this show in your studio, we all felt that the work, though still retaining some of the same formal elements and scale, had changed. How would you describe this progression?

SM: There are a couple of things. Part of it is keeping an open mind regarding surfaces to paint on… I guess the more tactile aspects. The other is expanding on an existing language found in earlier paintings. Where these two things meet I feel best represents any type of progression in the work.

RP: Your work has a variety of formal influences – graphic design, music, Americana, car racing, etc. As the work progresses do the influences change as well or do you find different aspects that interest you?

SM: Both, I think that I am constantly looking for new resources to open up and introduce to the paintings while also mining the things that I love and already interest me. There is always more to discover and many ways of seeing it.

Sam Martineau was born in 1973 in Springfield, Ohio. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Selected one-person exhibitions include Fingers in the Sun, Rawson Projects, Brooklyn, New York 2010; Paintings/Collages, StudioMiko, Brooklyn, New York 2009; Slip Down Easy, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, New York 2005. Selected group shows include People Who Work Here, David Zwirner, New York; Reductive, Jeffrey Leder Gallery, Long Island City, New York, Sketchbook, Sardine, Brooklyn, New York 2012; A Lettuce Slaughter In The Woods, Real Fine Arts, Brooklyn, New York 2010; Outside The Time Zone, Camel Art Space, Brooklyn, New York 2009, Solid Green, David Krut Projects 2005 New Yorks’s Finest, Canada, New York, New York.

To schedule a private viewing and for other inquiries please contact the gallery at info@rawsonprojects.com