Eddie Martinez Paints the “Wavelengths”

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Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NYC // February 01, 2024 – March 09, 2024

This is the last weekend to see Eddie Martinez‘ new solo show of paintings at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, their fifth solo exhibition with Brooklyn-based painter Eddie Martinez. Wavelengths features nine new paintings and is on view through March 9, 2024.    

Over the past two decades, Martinez has become known for his striking and energetic style of painting, part of an expansive practice that includes painted bronze sculptures, works on paper and printmaking.  Deftly layering oil, acrylic and enamel paint, and employing an ever-evolving vocabulary of characters and symbols, Martinez has cultivated a style uniquely his own.   

Many of the new paintings featured in Wavelengths belong to Martinez’s ongoing Whiteouts series.  Started in 2015, he has continuously returned to this series in which a colorful, underlying painting is covered with white paint.  Ranging from a thick impasto to a thin wash, the final layer reads as a veil over the surface, softening but not hiding the vibrant image beneath.    With Full Bloom, Martinez returns to his well-known flowerpot series.  A cartoonish flower emerges from a spherical pot, its petals pressing just beyond the edge of the canvas.  Rich blues, reds, yellow and greens peek through but are obscured by both a thin whitewash and an opaque white line. The background and foreground collapse into each other, dissolving the flower into abstract, geometric building blocks.  With another flowerpot painting, New Growth, Martinez pushes this idea further as the flowerpot composition seems to disassemble and reassemble before the viewer’s eyes.   

In the largest painting in the show, Recent Growth, familiar forms jostle together in a visual cacophony: a leaf, a tennis ball, a flower, a blockhead.  With no discernable focal point, the viewer’s eye travels from edge to edge, top to bottom revealing a lyrical dance of addition and subtraction, definition and erasure.     

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