Subterranean Gallery Proudly Presents

New Work By Amanda Martinez

Exhibition Opening: Friday, May 4th from 7 – 11 pm

 Artist Talk: Friday, May 11th 8 – 9 pm

Kansas City, MO (April 2012) Friday, May 4thSubterranean Gallery will host a public reception from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. showcasing new work by artist Amanda Martinez. The exhibition will feature sculptural pieces and an installation by Martinez. Guests may rejoin us, at the gallery, Friday, May 11thfrom 8 -9 pm for an artist talk directly following the closing reception of the BFA exhibition at the H&R Block Artspace. The exhibition will be on view by appointment May 5th – 31st. Please email to schedule your visit.

Smoke and Mirrors refers to the use of gimmicks one often associates with the formal theater or even a simple magic act. Martinez writes, “There is something comically tawdry or cheap about the phrase itself by way of this association that I enjoy. I think this title will help to settle viewers into not just the tone of the show but the attitude by which I approach and make my work.” Martinez’s use of non-traditional sculptural materials, such as pink insulation styrofoam, colored latex, and enamel paints create lightweight, but visually substantial, textures, tensions, and connections. These materials allow for bold, optical trickery paired with playful and fluid designs.

The color palette and scale of the work are new departures for Martinez. In the past her sculptures had a cake-like, edible quality to them. Now the work embraces a darker palette that transforms the “seriousness” and loaded history of the scheme of minimalist, masculine sculptors into a humorous affair. Her use of black has more in common with “the strangely uncomfortable impression a giant black leather couch makes in a room” than its use as a reference to something by artists Ad Reinhardt or Richard Serra.

Her work puts the process of making on display, be it in painting, sculpture or theater. With works named after terms from music, ballet and theater, she references the parallels of the visual compositions and their relations associated with practice and movement. Her piece Run-through takes it’s name from a term used for rehearsal; it also refers to the curving and intertwining motion of the shapes in the work. Its large scale accosts the viewer into a dramatic entanglement between the woven two-tone sunburst orange triangular texture and the pale pink foam tubing tying down the woven mass. Martinez, as the director, binds the shapes together into an S&M-esque turmoil of power play.

Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Amanda E. Martinez received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2010. Amanda currently lives in Kansas City, KS and is the recipient of a year-long studio residency through the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project in downtown Kansas City, MO.


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