The Rhythm of the Shadows: The Art of John Martin, A Survey

April 23 2010 — June 20 2010

John Martin, Immigrant’s Lament – the Hollow Man 1988, acrylic on canvas,185 x 170 cm
John Martin, Immigrant’s Lament – the Hollow Man 1988, acrylic on canvas,185 x 170 cm

John Martin is a big man with an equally big voice that reverberates with opinions on political issues and life in general. He is also gentle and knows how to cover a canvas with thick paint in an intelligent manner.

He does not suffer fools gladly and led the City of Maitland as Mayor in his own inimitable style. His time spent in local government will not be forgotten.. His art is similar and, although it has shifted through a variety of styles and subjects, has remained true to the artist’s passion and will not be forgotten.

Joanna Mendelssohn is a renowned art writer and curator. She has known John Martin for quite some time and has lived in the Hunter. She is the obvious and ideal person to write about John Martin and his art. This monograph and accompanying exhibition places John Martin into the context of art in Australia over the past four decades.

John’s art and Joanna’s words work well together in this publication presented by Maitland Regional Art Gallery. The monograph will go a long way to address a glaring omission; that is, writing about, and exhibiting the work of, a leading Australian Abstract Expressionist, John Martin.

It gives Maitland Regional Art Gallery much pleasure to present to the people of Maitland and beyond, John Martin, artist, long time resident of the Hunter, and local politician who has attained recognition for his painting throughout Australia and more recently in Germany.

I hope you enjoy this monograph and accompanying exhibition as much as I have in enjoyed coordinating this very special mission.

Joseph Eisenberg OAM, Cultural Director, Maitland Regional Art Gallery