John Haber reviews a recent exhibition of works by Eugene J. Martin at ASC Projects - Gallery 304, New York.
Haber writes: "If this is portraiture, its real subject is painting. And painting here begins and ends with abstraction. It includes the enigmatic touches of color in place of a face, the spare horizontals of a top hat, or the circles bubbling up within a head. At least as often, it is a brighter geometry that lays the ground and then, increasingly, takes over the joint... Martin, born in 1938, sometimes described his art as 'satirical abstraction,' knowing full well that it is not at anyone’s expense and not entirely abstract. Yet the label does get at the seriousness, the comedy and the eclecticism... One can see him as putting abstraction through its paces."