Up in Arms #2

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  • Condition Report

  • Provenance

    ZieherSmith, New York
    Private Collection
    Phillips, New York, 17 May 2013, Lot 258
    Private Collection, New York
    Heather James Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Up in Arms #2 is a captivating example of how American visual contemporary artist, Eddie Martinez uniquely fuses elements of pure abstraction with figuration on his lively canvases. Resembling the erratic spontaneity of a doodle, Martinez’s strong painterly strokes actually reveal a sophisticated approach. Employing a combination of acrylic, oil and spray paint, Up in Arms #2 presents the viewer with abstract blocks of colour that co-exist alongside more defined forms, including a large red droplet, a spotted green tree, and a yellow chair outlined in red. A breasted bird-like figure appears to orchestrate the action from the centre of the canvas, with outstretched wings that allude to the work’s title. The dynamic imagery is contained within a rectangular frame, juxtaposing the negative space that surrounds the frame’s perimeter. Consequently, the eye is immediately drawn towards the exuberant colours and energetic brushwork. With so much activity, viewers may not know where to look - yet the work’s highly engaging nature stops them from wanting to look away.

    As seen in the present lot, Martinez’s practice pushes the boundaries of what constitutes painting as he explores characteristics that nod to both the cultural appeal of street art, as well as the dialect of art history. Examining the layers of a Martinez painting reveal his sources of inspiration, ranging from cave paintings to Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism, to graffiti and popular urban culture. Martinez’s style also draws from his deep understanding of the traditions of classical painting techniques, which he transforms in his own work through his personal iconography.

    Executed in 2009, Up in Arms #2 draws particularly on Martinez’s admiration for the “speed and abandon of control” present in the work of CoBrA artists Asger Jorn and Karel Appel, whose practices he discovered that same year (the artist quoted in Bill Powers, “‘I Needed to Figure Out Something I Could Make Myself’: A Talk With Eddie Martinez”, Artnews, 25 January 2016, online). Working rapidly, Martinez first creates spray paint sketches, before turning to acrylic and oil paint traditional media to apply line and colour with a variety of brush-sizes and motions. The speed with which the artist works is evident in his brushwork, as the coarseness of Martinez’s gestural lines suggests an aggressive application technique. Martinez has even likened his artistic methods to that of a boxing match, in which the opponent is his canvas and the first move is stepping forward to make contact. After contact has occurred, he will then step back to regroup before he connects again. Most prominent in the present lot’s vibrantly contrasting smears, the result of Martinez’s dynamic approach are compositions that appear simultaneously accidental, whilst also deliberately confident. Critically lauded for his “exceptional gifts as a painter and draftsman, which he exuberantly combines” (Roberta Smith, The New York Times, 11 February 2010), Martinez’s practice is unapologetically bold and uniquely his own.

    Since bursting onto the scene in the mid-2000s, Martinez has presented solo exhibitions at prominent museums and institutions, including the Bronx Museum, New York (2018), the Drawing Center, New York (2017) and the Davis Museum, Wellesley (2017). Alongside numerous private collections, Martinez’s work forms part of notable public collections such as the Saatchi Collection in London and the Morgan Library in New York.

  • Catalogue Essay



    《激烈反抗2號》作於2009年,突顯了馬丁尼茲對「眼鏡蛇藝術群」藝術家阿斯葛·瓊恩和卡·阿貝爾作品中的「速度和失控」的欣賞與借鑒,他於同年看到二人的藝術作品。(藝術家,錄於比爾·鮑爾斯,<我需要弄清楚自我可以控制的事物: 與艾迪·馬汀尼茲對話>,《藝術新聞》,2016年1月25日,截自網路)馬汀尼茲先以噴漆打稿,再以傳統媒材如壓克力彩和油彩勾勒線條和上色,所用之筆刷尺寸和作畫動態變化多端。藝術家創作時的速度於其筆觸最為明顯,動態張揚的粗獷線條可見其進取的畫風。馬汀尼茲還曾把自己的藝術手法比作拳擊賽,畫布就是他的對手,第一步是上前接觸,接觸過後要退後重新思索整裝才能再次接觸。此作中最突出的是那對比鮮明強烈的塗抺痕跡,馬汀尼茲的多元化創作手法帶來的畫面看起來像是意外,又有著深思熟慮的自信。藝評最為讚賞他「精彩地結合了作為畫家和製圖員的無比天賦」。(羅伯塔·史密斯,《紐約時報》,2010年2月11日)。馬汀尼茲的藝術創作無疑是大膽而獨特的。

    馬汀尼茲自2000年代中期開始渐露头角,曾在多個重要博物館和藝術機構舉行個展,當中包括紐約布朗克斯博物館(2018年)、紐約 Drawing Center(2017年)和衛斯理學院的戴維斯博物館(2017年)。另外,其作品不僅被收入許多私人收藏,更被納入倫敦薩奇收藏和紐約摩根圖書館等知名公眾收藏。

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Up in Arms #2

signed with the artist's initials and dated 'EM.09' lower left
acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas
153 x 183 cm. (60 1/4 x 72 in.)
Executed in 2009.

HK$600,000 - 800,000 

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Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2019