Abstraction in Action Cipriano Martínez: Woven Cities https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/cipriano-martinez-woven-cities/


Artist: Cipriano Martínez and Christine van der Hurd

Woven Cities
November 27 – December 19, 2015
Maddox Arts
London, UK

Christine Van Der Hurd and Cipriano Martínez have a mutual appreciation for traditional artistic techniques and geometric design. When they were first introduced in the Autumn of 2013 their collaborative process was quick to develop. Cipriano Martínez paints with oils on canvas and then screenprints his artwork; while Vanderhurd rugs are woven by highly skilled craftsmen in India using traditional techniques. This process involves a strong mutual belief in the artistic, hand crafted approach to the creation of an original artefact of true lasting value.

In contrast to the ordered geometry found in Vanderhurd designs, Martínez enjoys disruption and dislocation of pattern, creating conflict between order and chaos. The greatest challenge for him during this creative process was adapting to a different format for the execution of these pieces, and that this would create an alternative interpretation of his original paintings. Though he was never expecting the process to be an easy one.

For example, the designs that included very small triangular shapes had to be enlarged to a minimum of 6 centimetres to enable sharp, straight lines to be achieved in the weaving process. The artwork represents aerial views of maps and cities, describing the juxtaposition of order and chaos found within them. Martínez has relished the implications of this new medium, while Vanderhurd’s considerable understanding of colour has been a key component in the development of these dhurries.

A small selection of Cipriano Martínez oil paintings will be accompanying the exhibition.

November 24, 2015 Cipriano Martínez: Failed Geometry https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/cipriano-martinez-failed-geometry/


Artist: Cipriano Martínez

Failed Geometry
February 15 – May, 2015
Viloria Blanco Gallery
Miami, FL, USA

Solo exhibition by Cipriano Martínez.

May 19, 2015 Cipriano Martínez: Weight for the Showing https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/cipriano-martinez-weight-showing/

Screenshot 2015-04-15 12.30.33

Artists: Richard Serra, Phyllida Barlow, Christian Jankowski, Nicolas Feldmeyer, Cipriano Martinez, Levi van Veluw, David Rickard, Livia Marin, Richard Schur, Liv Fontaine, Knopp Ferro.

Weight for the Showing
Curated by Paul Carey-Kent
April 23 – June 16, 2015
Maddox Arts
London, UK

Of the many competitors for our attention when we look at a work of art – meaning, narrative, form, colour, gesture, scale, sound, movement – its weight is not generally high in the list, heavy as much sculpture and some painting may be (Bram Bogart’s super-thick applications or Analia Saban’s container canvases come to mind). Indeed, although WEIGHT FOR THE SHOWING is themed around weight, all the works have other interesting agendas, most notably perhaps the frequency with which they skew logic and the zest with which they engage with art history.

Some artists playfully substitute the heavy for the light or vice versa: Gavin Turk’s bronze bin bags are well known, Andreas Lolis has made marble look very like card or polystyrene; Fishli & Weiss fashioned all manner of items out of polyurethane; and Sarah Sze recently made rocks out of photographs of rocks, which she showed alongside real boulders. Others have used surprisingly-weighted items, e.g. Andrew Palmer attaches rocks to paintings, and Aselm Kiefer fixes anything from soil to submarines to his canvases; Damien Hirst’s ping pong ball pieces might be the opposite end of that scale.

Such play is allowed here, but the show concentrates more on two other aspects: the relative weight of elements within or between works, which latter may be down to evident heaviness of mark, or else be a matter of ‘feeling’ heavy or light for no obvious literal reason; and the metaphorical association of weight with seriousness and being weighed down by troubles or history. There’s no neat division, but Barlow, Rickard, Schur, Ferro and Martinez are perhaps more in the first category; and Serra, Jankowski, Marin, Feldmeyer and Fontaine in the second.

Enough weight may also lead to collapse. Nietzsche worried about the possibility of Eternal Return, in which we’re doomed to repeat events for eternity, making existence a heavy burden, given the impossibility of escaping the cycle. Buddhism provides a potential way out of that by embracing the cycle, as does Milan Kundera when, assuming in contrast that such a cycle is impossible, he holds that ‘life which disappears once and for all, which does not return is without weight…and whether it was horrible, beautiful, or sublime…means nothing’. Decisions are then ‘light’ – they do not tie us down – but meaningless and potentially empty. That isn’t entirely welcome either, hence the ‘the unbearable lightness of being’. A more pragmatic view would be that we’re in the space between the baggage of the what’s gone and the disintegration to come – but the interim phase may last a while yet, and we might as well enjoy it. Just so, there’s plenty of wit in these works, that raise interesting issues but also help visitors to enjoy a few minutes of the gap.

Image: Christian Jankowski, Heavy Weight History (Ronald Reagan), 2013 – b/w photograph on baryt paper, 140 x 186.8 cm, ed.1 of 5+2 ap
April 21, 2015 Cipriano Martínez https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/cipriano-martinez/

The rain of this valley
drags everything, slowly, toward its entrance,
it does not have another slope.

ITACA. For a homage to Konstantinos
Kavafis.  Eugenio Montejo.

Caracas, the place where I was born, is a city full of contrasts that grew exponentially in just half a century as a result of the oil boom. It is a place where memory is constantly blurred, and where another city grows from within. It is precisely this mutant character, this kind of patchwork, what makes it both complex and fascinating.

Serial repetitions, dislocated structures, changes in the scale of representation, frontal and aerial views, and obsessive patterns constitute the strategy that I use to approach a notion of chaos, or perhaps a desired order suitable of a city that appears in my paintings as a vestige.

In recent years, my oil paintings have become increasingly informed by my parallel interest in printmaking. These investigations of the printing process have lent my work a mathematical precision that I believe enforces the underlying themes of the work.

In the exhibition catalogue for Destructive Testing (Maddox Arts, 2012) Patricia Velasco writes “It is the changing geography and accidental  architecture of the city which captures the artist’s interest, the misshapen and vague  cartography, the metamorphosis of  architecture in a state of constant transformation, the variety and, from a temporal viewpoint, the unstable nature of the layout and tissue on which the modern city is built.”


La lluvia de este valle,
todo lo arrastra, despacio, hasta sus puertas,
no tiene otro declive.

ITACA. Para un homenaje a Konstantinos
Kavafis.  Eugenio Montejo.

Caracas, el lugar donde nací, es una ciudad llena de contrastes que creció exponencialmente en cuestión de medio siglo, como resultado del boom petrolero. Es un lugar donde la memoria se borra constantemente, y donde otra ciudad crece desde adentro. Es precisamente este carácter mutante, esa especie de patchwork lo que la hace compleja y fascinante a la vez.

Repeticiones seriales, estructuras dislocadas, cambios en la escala de representación, visiones frontal y cenital, ausencia de gesto, patrones obsesivos, forman parte de la estrategia que empleo para aproximarme a la noción de caos, o a un orden quizá deseado propio de una ciudad que aparece en mi pintura a modo de vestigio.

En los últimos años mis pinturas–óleo sobre tela–han recibido una influencia cada vez mayor de mi interés paralelo en las artes gráficas . Estas investigaciones en el proceso de impresión han ofrecido a mi trabajo una precisión que refuerza los temas fundamentales de la obra.

En la presentación del catálogo de la muestra Destructive Testing (Maddox Arts, 2012) Patricia Velasco escribe “Le interesa al artista la geografía cambiante y accidental de la ciudad, la cartografía mutante e imprecisa, la arquitectura que se metamorfosea y que está en constante transformación, la variabilidad y el carácter inestable desde el punto de vista temporal de los trazos y tejidos sobre los cuales se edifica la urbe moderna”

Selected Biographical Information

Education / Training

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Group Exhibitions 



January 21, 2015