Historic Art | Ron Martin

Woman obsessed with man 1976 20x16 web

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Woman Obsessed with Man, 1976

Technique: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 20x16 in.


Private Collection, Ontario


The Desire to Acquire: London Collects, Museum of London, September 3, 2016 – January 8, 2017


Museum of London, The Desire to Acquire: London Collects, reproduced pg. 71 in colour

Woman Obsessed with Manis a piece from Martin’s Black Series, all of which were created between 1974 and 1981. Within Martin’s series, the works can often be separated into categories, the Black paintings evolving almost yearly. Moving forward from his 1975 series, Martin responded to the strong, gestural presence of the human hand in those works by working with figural presences in his 1976 works. Though primitive, the figures in Woman Obsessed with Man act as symbols for beings that are separate from both the artist and the viewer. Symbols, for Martin are “[an] ideal model of reality, a totality. The idea of the symbol is the container for the unconscious projection”.

About the Artist

Ron Martin was born in London, Ontario in 1943. After he completed his studies in commercial arts, Martin had his first solo show in 1965. Influenced by abstract expressionism and artists such as Jackson Pollock, his works address the material qualities of paint and the ways in which it can be manipulated. The stylistic qualities of the works have evolved over the span of his career, but constant is Martin’s intention for the viewer to project their unconscious selves into his paintings. He represented Canada in the 1978 Venice Bienalle and in 2012, he received the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts. Ron Martin continues to live and work in Toronto, Ontario.
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