Jason McCoy Inc.
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Martin Kline: Made in Japan
November 2 - December 16, 2006

Jason McCoy Inc. is pleased to present “Martin Kline: Made in Japan,” an exhibition featuring paintings completed during the artist’s Atlantic Pacific Fellowship in Japan. In the spring of 2005, Kline was awarded a grant by the Major of Miyakonojo to live and work for three months in this city located on Japan’s southernmost island of Kyushu. The works from this time reflect Kline’s experience of being immersed in a foreign culture and exploring new horizons. Employing a visual language that refers to Far Eastern aesthetics, they radiate with an almost graphic clarity. Kline’s brushwork here is simple; his painterly gesture immediate. Black lines on white ground succeed in forming unusual patterns and constructs of expressive movement.

In his essay for the exhibition catalogue, Kline commemorates his stay in Japan and provides a very personal point of view. Addressing his immersion in a world unknown, he states:

“The ready-made prepared Japanese canvases I treated like sheets of paper. I had been working with the grid, and now began where I left off starting with allover abstract effects covering the entire surface. Various figures were soon ”freed” from this ground. Faces and eyes emerged and connections were made, as one suggestion followed another. Forms were made with white space around them and then forms were made with the white space closed in. Figuration became prominent and recognizable, sometimes with-- but often without-- deliberation. Every day I was reading, looking and considering what Japan had been and what it was now, culturally and socially. Each day spent in Japan compounded elements and experiences that shaped my thoughts. Being especially interested in the ancient world and cultures, I studied Japan’s Chinese roots, ancient legends, shrines and religion; Japanese garden design, and Ikebana, and the importance of and control over Nature in general; ancient Jomon and Samurai cultures; Tea ceremony, calligraphy, lacquer, Noh and Kabuki theater. All of these cultural elements filter through a millennium of Feudalism and isolationism to form Japan’s present-day culture. Manga (Japanese comics), the starling family that screeched for food at 5 am every morning, the tile rooftops from my studio window, the shaped shrubs that every neighbor obsessively groomed-- these were some of the ubiquitous elements that crept into the paintings.”

Born in 1961, Martin Kline has exhibited extensively throughout the United States. In 2007, he will have a solo exhibition at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, in Milwaukee. He lives and works in New York City and Rhinebeck, New York.

Stephanie B. Simmons
Press Relations
Email: jmccoy@mindspring.com
Phone: 212-319-1996

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