Don’t you wonder sometimes
‘Bout sound and vision
David Bowie, Sound and Vision 1977
Leigh Martin’s work has long mapped the sonic. His paintings record the pulse and scratch of vision. Martin’s Dissolve paintings made in the early 1990s implied in their repetitious waves, a nigh-on silent soundscape, one where the glitches and inflections of tone are suggested in the tremor and vibrato of touch and its liaison with material.
Martin’s work feels much less about the synesthesia that fascinated Kandinsky, or the flamboyant theatre of Yves Klein’s Monotone Symphony, rather his paintings seem to want to lasso the sonic texture that is on the sensory periphery. The Dissolve paintings were made in a single attenuated sitting – a kind of one note or one glitch performance.
Since the Dissolve works Martin has gone on to make paintings where each series titles, Loaded, Silenced, Shallow Depth for example might equally describe a quality of sound as much as vision. Over the years they have differed vastly in their chromatic intensity, their viscosity and their scale but each of his works has its own volume and timbre.
These new works all titled Mass continue his interest in the way that colour accumulates, pigment coalescing around the subtlest glitches on the surface.
Andrew Jensen September 2016