Leg of Lamb caught the tail end of Leigh Martin’s solo exhibition at Jensen Gallery in Sydney last week. Varied in scale from the modest to the monumental, Martin’s paintings convey the striking, transformative power of colour. The artist uses resin to create seductive, glassy surfaces, that on closer inspection reveal subtle shifts in pigmentation, subverting the uniformity of what at first glance might be considered a monochrome.
Martin is a skilled technician, and his handling of paint and sophisticated use of colour is quite remarkable. Made without a brush, the resin is poured directly onto the canvas and gently rocked side to side as it dries. Dribbles from individual layers tip over the edges of the canvas, exposing the source of each painting’s chromatic intensity.
They’re beautiful objects, and in their shifts of colour hint at landscapes, the infinite… That said, Martin has been making these works for a while now (since 2007 in fact), so let’s hope he doesn’t get stuck in a rut. One show is arresting, but further exhibitions containing similar material might make viewers question whether this beauty is only skin deep.