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Chris Martin, Perfect January Morning (A Remark You Made), 2012–14, acrylic, glitter, collage on canvas, 48 × 39".

Chris Martin

KOW

Chris Martin, Perfect January Morning (A Remark You Made), 2012–14, acrylic, glitter, collage on canvas, 48 × 39".

Chris Martin paints to open up a space of possibility. This was made particularly clear in his recent exhibition at KOW, which consisted of paintings finished in the past five years. Throughout this work, points of reference from various cultural strata intermingle: Glued-on photos or newspaper clippings depict musicians—some better known than others—as well as anonymous figures, animals, and so on. Icons of recreational drug culture also abound, whether in the form of “420” painted in bold strokes across the width of one painting, or psychotropic mushrooms cropping up in collages, or even a tchotchke mounted onto the surface of a work. But the paintings also exhibit an expert awareness of painting itself, its historical deconstruction into color shapes and brushstrokes, and the dissection of its substrate. Martin has been known to carve holes or create small, lengthwise

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