Katy Martin

Recent writing about Katy's work


Larry List, "SKIN TRADE: Eros, Identity, Beauty & Mortality,"

SKIN TRADE, New York: PPOW Gallery, 2013, p 18.




Like Marilyn Minter, skin is the canvas upon which Katy Martin works. While Minter manifests the sensuous as spectacle, Martin manifests it as spiritual. Originally interested in painting with large, expressionistic full-body gestures, by degrees Martin arrived at by putting the gestures onto the body – her own. “The figure” became “the ground.”

Her interest in gesture led her to study Chinese calligraphy, wherein painting is regarded primarily as a performance, an act. The resultant brushstrokes represent a mapping of the past energy fields of both the positive and the negative space.

Works such as After Bada Shanren #2, captured as large format photo images output on paper and hung unmounted and unframed on the wall, allude to the scroll paintings of the 17th century Chinese painter, Bada Shanren, a Taoist and Buddhist priest. With the bounding contours of the body cropped out, ambiguity about what is surface, what is form, allows one to become the other and the implicit sense of the space and energy to expand infinitely.

From the catalogue essay for the exhibition,

SKIN TRADE: an in-depth look at the surface of things

curated by Larry List and Martha Wilson,

PPOW Gallery, New York, 2013

with Liu Bolin • Nancy Burson • COLORS Magazine • Adele Crawford • Nancy Davidson • Margi Geerlinks • Kathy Grove • Heide Hatry • Lynn Hershman • Stephen Irwin • Elana Katz • Suzy Lake • Robert Mapplethorpe • Katy Martin • Beverly McIver • Ana Mendieta • Marilyn Minter • Lorraine O’Grady • ORLAN • Hunter Reynolds • Bonnie Rychlak • Alison Saar • Joan Semmel • Jeanne Silverthorne • Betty Tompkins • Robin Williams • Martha Wilson • Veruschka Lehndorff & Holger Trülzsch • Dolores Zorreguieta • Barbara Zucker

Greg Allen, "Jasper Johns Making Silkscreens, by Katy Martin,"

greg.org, May, 2012.

"two incredible Jasper Johns films"


Jerry Saltz, Facebook post, May 30, 2012.

A quiet storm .... A long-slow 37 min film "Hanafuda/Jasper Johns (1977-81") by Katy Martin of Jasper Johns working on two of my favorite prints: Usuyuki and Cicada. (Basically the film is like listening to rainfall.) Some morsels from Johns, "An image comes from a thought; the thought has certain implications; if you want to deal with the implications you have to do a certain amount of work." At one point Martin asks, "I wanted to talk about meaning." Johns surprised, says, "About what?" She says, " Meaning. In the work." Johns says, "I don't like to get involved in that ... I tend to like to leave that free.... the idea is often simply a way to focus your interest in making a work... a function of the work is not to express the idea.... The idea focuses your attention in a certain way that helps you to do the work." -- (I found the film on wonderful greg.org).

Sarah Kirk Hanley, Ink | Jasper Johns’s Revolution in Print,

Art 21 Blog, June 1, 2012.

"an extraordinary bit of filmmaking"


"Forget About Doing Art," Katy Martin interviewed by Zhu Haijian,

Art World Magazine (Yishu Shijie), Shanghai, China, January 2005

Download interview (English transcript)

Download interview (Chinese publication)