There’s precious little time left to catch two major New York painters currently showing here in Berlin. Amy Sillman at Capitain Petzel and Eddie Martinez at Peres Projects Mitte. While Sillman and Martinez are quite different in practice and appeal, the influence of drawing and mark-making on their process-heavy, abstract canvases allies them in Berlin’s art landscape. Sillman and Martinez ensure that oil still has a pulse in the city this December.
Eddie Martinez The Brooklyn-based artist’s trademark imagery in his paintings include recurrent motifs like the often-disembodied head with bug-eyes, rendered in fat black lines, that appears in most of his works.
The veering between abstract and figurative creates access points for the viewer. Thick, greasy layers of shadowy figures, distant objects and seemingly familiar items appear on first glance as just colour and shape.
Martinez draws on everything from his honeymoon in January to Hollywood to graffiti, sucking it all in and then returning it through his own lens, employing associative markers and ‘internal logic’ to his flattened oil worlds.
Eddie Martinez: Seeker, THROUGH DEC 17 | Peres Projects Mitte, Grosse Hamburgerstr. 17, 11-18:00 and by appointment
Amy Sillman Muted palettes and stripped back mark-making identify Sillman’s work. Engaged in a dialogue with the principles of painting, feminism and abstract expressionism for over 30 years, the artist feels “no separation between the psychological and the critical”.
In her show, large canvases are displayed alongside an Imovie animation and Iphone drawings, an exploration of the process of mark-making. Hundreds of strobing digital images share the same recurrent imagery as her large canvases: crutches, feet and genitals. In an adjacent room, over 100 loosely tacked paper versions of inkjet digital drawings are displayed floor-to-ceiling in similar pastel hues.
Sillman is concerned with opening up multiple dialogues around her work beyond the traditional appreciation of oil-on-canvas abstraction through the use of parallel mediums such as the adapted Nancy cartoon poster accompanying the exhibition.
Amy Sillman: Thumb Cinema, THROUGH DEC 23 | Capitain Petzel, Karl-Marx-Allee 45, Tue-Sat 11-18:00