Martin Kline: Dreams of Venice
May 1 – 30 at Gallery NAGA
Gallery NAGA is pleased to present the first solo gallery exhibition in Boston of paintings by Martin Kline, whose work has been the subject of major shows around the globe, but never in Boston.
Martin Kline: Dreams of Venice is on exhibition from May 1 to 30. A reception for the artist and the public will be held at the gallery on Friday, May 1 from 6 to 8 pm.
Martin Kline paints using encaustic, a process in which hot pigment-enriched beeswax is laid down and then applied. Each layer is built upon, often revealing the layers beneath, the transition creating an overall pattern or rhythm. The color is suspended in stunning colors—red, yellow, blue— some overlapping or growing out of what is beneath. His paintings display Kline’s fascination with the natural world, his shapes evoking flowers or fungi sprouting from a tree or glistening water.
Douglas Hyland, Director of the New Britain Museum of Art in New Britain Connecticut, where Martin Kline recently had a major mid-career retrospective, writes, “Because his work is lyrically abstract, critics and art historians have commented consistently on the romantic sensibilities Martin’s paintings and sculptures evoke. He blends aspects of the beautiful with the sublime. His vision boasts the remarkable qualities of originality and consistency so that all of his works have a distinctive cohesive quality yet each explores a different theme and is the result of different influences. . . . Almost all have an organic quality which tethers them to the tradition of landscape painting. But, instead of a panoramic display, Kline concentrates on a slice of nature magnified and thus examined intensely. His beguiling and seductive creations engage us aesthetically but also intellectually because of the questions they evoke with regards to man’s role with nature.”
The title of the exhibition, Dreams of Venice, resulted from years of travels by Kline to Venice. The city, the water and its reflections, and the baroque architecture all influenced a large body of work, many of which are on display at NAGA. The colors, at once muted and earth-toned and also hot and vibrant, have emerged in subtler shades of blues, greens, purples, and gold. The glittering waterways of Venice can be visualized from the abstractions of Kline.
Kline’s work can be found in the many collections including the Brooklyn Museum, The Fogg, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery.
This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with an essay by Alex Bacon. The catalog may also be seen on gallerynaga.com.