Ute Martin

Fitzroy Library, 128 Moor Street, Fitzroy

22 January – 25 March

Images of Architecture, Movement and Spirituality

Paintings and collages

In 1914 the famous Dutch painter Piet Mondrian wrote to a friend that:

“I construct lines and colour combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…”

The paintings on display by Ute Martin display an adherence to this philosophy. Executed primarily in acrylic on canvas or canvas box these subtle and harmonious works express a journey into abstraction from an observed tangible physical image.

Larger paintings which are based on a representational image of Federation square are developed into geometric abstract patterns and shapes. I particularly enjoyed Images of Federation Square1 which was a view through long rectangular windows reflecting classic shapes and proportions.

Even in the primary images of the square there is evident a love of the geometry of the buildings and structure. In the various versions of Images of Federation Square (2, 3, 4 and 5), the image is abstracted into squares, rectangles, triangles and oblong shapes. The colour used is subtle and yet rich and vibrant. The overall effect is to create a feeling of calm contemplation. Ute shares with Mondrian the ability to convey this feeling with the play of hard edged shapes.

However her search for a spiritual reality is more freely expressed in three paintings, Flying High 1, 2 and 3. These works are quite small (51 x 62 cm), but executed with a use of translucent colour - green blue ochre and red. The abstract shapes do not have any representational connotation but create a sense of movement and flight. They are not as hard edge as the other works, and in the artist’s words, “represent the flight of birds and currents in the air”.

Ute was born in Germany and migrated to Australia 1971. She enjoys a career in interior design and decoration and brings to her paintings a love of design and colour. She has had numerous exhibitions and I am sure that she will have a good future as a painter.

Review by Nathan Moshinsky

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