dusseldorf

Chris Martin, Homage to Alfred and Bill #5, 1982–96, oil and felt on canvas, 15 x 12 1/4".

Chris Martin

Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

Chris Martin, Homage to Alfred and Bill #5, 1982–96, oil and felt on canvas, 15 x 12 1/4".

Chris Martin is that rare thing: a spiritual painter. In an interview for the catalogue to his exhibition “Staring into the Sun,” curated by Elodie Evers and Gregor Jansen, he speaks of early on trying to find a way “to paint the upper rectangle with some deep spiritual certainty.” He might sound like he’s channeling Malevich, but unlike those of the Russian Suprematist, his spiritual aspirations do not result in pure nonobjective images. His oeuvre includes black paintings with white geometric figures, atmospheric figural works (in his “Catskill Landscape” series, 1990–93), and works with brightly colored geometric forms, texts, and collage. This is not to suggest that Martin is deeply ponderous; a colorful group titled and inscribed “Good Morning Alfred Jensen,” 2005–2007, is filled with impastoed starbursts and collaged with bikini-clad calendar girls. Martin finds ways to

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