The illusory effects are achieved with conscious bilingualism in Mårtensson’s painting. He is fascinated by depiction, by the play of light and darkness, by spatiality and depth. At the same time, however, he speaks a more conceptual painterly language that seeks to explore the mechanism of seeing. His paintings become hybrids between photorealism and abstraction, forever oscillating between two radically different temperaments.
The painting in eight sections was created specifically for the site of The Moderna Exhibition, almost as though it were a wall painting. In Mårtensson’s oeuvre, the work and the space it is shown in are inseparable. The images become an extension, or distortion, of the space, while the space adds new dimensions to the paintings.
Per Mårtensson joins a long tradition of artists who engage in visualising the exhibition space, the white cube, and examining how it influences our perception of art. At the same time, his work in this context is a veritably rebellious tribute to the tradition and medium of painting. Although he bases his works on the imagery of past eras and fills them with a myriad of references, the final result is a highly personal and forward-looking exploration of the potential of painting itself.
Born 1969 in Malmö
Lives and works in Malmö
1995–1997 Konsthögskolan i Malmö/Malmö Art Academy, Malmö
1992 Konstskolan i Kristianstad
Selected solo exhibitions
2010 Galerie Zink, München/Munich [DE]
2009 Färgfabriken, Stockholm
2009 Elastic, Malmö
Selected group exhibitions
2010 El Gabinete Blanco/The White Cabinet, Mexico D.F [MX]
2009 Evidences of the Paranormal, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York [US]
2009 This is the score, part II, Elastic, Malmö
Elena Tzotzi, ”Per Mårtensson”, www.frieze.com/shows/review/per_martensson/, 2009
Sebastian Johans, ”Hänförande Mårtensson på Färgfabriken”, Uppsala Nya Tidning, 2009-12-29.
Katarina Wadstein Macleod, ”Konsthistorien går igen”, Svenska Dagbladet, 2009-12-11.