New York

Walter Martin


Walter Martin’s project as an artist involves the sculptural remaking of mundane objects associated with a nostalgic view of the commonplace. Martin’s interest in time and its random manifestations brings an imperative resonance to his ambitious new works. Here, Martin offered a bizarre lopsided grand piano and a multipartite work aptly titled Mechanical Operation of the Spirit, 1987–88, which consists of six extraordinary grandfather clocks. Although the piano was the first work a viewer would have seen when entering the gallery space, the grandfather clocks were clearly the central focus of the show. Martin builds these “clocks” from large solid blocks of wood, which he sculpts and then paints a perfectly distressed dark brown. He has hacked away at the bases as if he were taking a metaphorical ax to time itself. Martin apparently sees the bases of these clocks as an odd sort of temporal

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