EnlargeMarch 8 - April 17, 2003 Back to Exhibitions
Cristinerose | Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present Enlarge, Marti Cormand’s first one-person exhibition in New York. The show consists of six oil on canvas paintings and ten works on paper.
Space is a fragile thing. Tradition is a weighty tool. Marti Cormand operates within the systems of abstraction to bring painting to an articulate point of self-consciousness: his work constantly reminds us that painting is an artifice, a theater of manipulated information.
The world we inhabit is a construct oversaturated with things and signs where a fear of the void seems more prevalent than ever. Cluttering is part of an ecological and political reality. With oil on canvas Marti Cormand creates a visual lexicon of densely populated techno-scapes where the monochrome tradition in painting encounters electronic circuitry, His visual language takes form by connecting bits of discrete information into complex networks of lines, spheres, tubes, vessels and modules.
He proceeds by addition, detail after detail, building elementary constructions by linking a profusion of minute objects that function like a succession of question marks. In a simultaneous series of associations the meticulously painted elements evoke science fiction architecture, cellular configurations and the soft cells of the networked society we live in.
Qualities of transparency, density, light, shadows and extreme precision in the manner of Vermeer’s painting are juxtaposed with references to the technologies of image reproduction. Mimicking the two basic functions of a copy machine -- from (+) to (-) and from Dark to Light -- Marti Cormand manipulates the scale of the image on canvas. Suprematism in the age of the copy machine. In a series of ten works on paper entitled Enlarge from Plus to Minus. An almost monochromatic white square inside the square of the paper becomes progressively darker and more densely populated with microorganisms. In ten frames, the image grows darker, smaller and moves towards the corner edge of the paper. The zoom effect produces a sensation of speed and blur although the work is slow and precise.
In a painting titled Enlarge (+) the white linen is left completely untouched and the painting starts emerging at two thirds of the canvas like a horizon line. In Translation (Edge), a 4.5 x 9 feet diptych, displacement is pushed to the extreme. The entire surface is left untouched and the painting takes place on the under edge of the canvas, revealed as an unfolding band of hidden (or recovered?) data.
Marti Cormand’s paintings offer a concentration of information without the possibility to access it. The relationship between the elements as well as the occurrence of repetition, compression, decompression, enlargement, reduction or translation of the image sets the grounds for a world of analogies. Music on canvas where everything appears to be but nothing is. In the words of Roland Barthes, “the fragment is like the musical idea of a song cycle…Each piece is self-sufficient, and yet it is never anything but the interstice of its neighbor: the work consists of no more than an inset, an hors-texte” (in Roland Barthes, Roland Barthes)
Marti Cormand applies an extraordinary level of precision to synthesize the undefined. His works depict a precise, patient, multi layered and self-aware indefinition. Enlarge, portrays the state of precarious unbalance we live in. The paintings offer an explosion of possibilities as an alternative: a world where neither emptiness nor saturation dominates, where space and time are allocated for a new vocabulary to emerge.
Marti Cormand was born in Vic, Spain in 1970. He recently moved to New York from Barcelona where he received his MFA. His work has been shown regularly at galleries and art institutions in Spain since 1998.