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Courtney J. Martin

Dr. Courtney J. Martin secured her Ph D at Yale University. She now has an appointment at Vanderbilt University. She was Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art department at the University of California at Berkeley (2009-2010); also, a fellow at the Getty Research Institute between 2008-2009. Before this, Martin was, during 2007 a Research Fellow at the Henry Moore Institute. Her scholarship includes work on British artists Rasheed Araeen, Frank Bowling, and Yinka Shonibare.

She contributed a chapter - The Re-selection of Ancestors: Genealogy and American Abstraction’s Second Generation, - to Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction 1964 - 1980. the catalogue for an exhibition held at the Studio Museum in Harlem, April 5 - July 2, 2006. She contributed a chapter -   The Twentieth-Century Dandy as Cultural Provocateur: Yinka Shonibare, MBE, and the Diary of a Victorian Dandy. - to “Black” British Aesthetics Today. Published by: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007. The article was illustrated with five monochrome reproductions of the Diary of a Victorian Dandy.

Martin wrote a review of the Shades of Black book (David A. Bailey, Ian Baucom, Sonia Boyce, eds. Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain, Durham, Duke University Press/INIVA/AAVAA) 2005). The review appeared in Art Journal (CAA) Spring 2007.

Martin devised a display of work by Frank Bowling, held at Tate Britain, Drop, Roll, Slide, Drip… Frank Bowling’s Poured Paintings 1973-8

From www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/display/focus-frank-bowling (accessed 18 January 2013):

This exhibition looks at a series of poured paintings that British Guyana-born abstract artist Bowling began in New York in the early 1970s.

Frank Bowling (born 1936) encountered the work of American abstract painters when he moved to New York in 1966. He became increasingly interested in the effects created by paint, and in 1973 he began to pour paint directly onto canvas, angled so that the wet acrylic paint would slowly flow to the bottom.

In his New York and London studios Bowling built a tilting platform that allowed him to pour the paints from heights of up to two metres. The paint spilled down as if on a ski jump, creating an energetic and innovative action painting style. The richly layered shifts of colour could start as a straight line at the top of the canvas and end in a swirl at the bottom, meeting and meshing with other colours in the middle. A dense configuration of built-up paint settled at the bottom edge.

Bowling exhibited the first group of these ‘poured painting’ in New York in the autumn of 1973. Over the last thirty years Bowling has developed his painting technique, adding other materials and thick layers of paint to the canvas. Colour and the material structure of the paint remain his main concerns.

Related items

click to show details of “Black” British Aesthetics Today

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Book relating to a publication, 2007

click to show details of Energy/Experimentation

»  Energy/Experimentation

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2006

click to show details of Shades of Black book review (art journal)

»  Shades of Black book review (art journal)

Review relating to a conference, 2007