Exhibition: December 11, 2009 - January 24, 2010
Opening reception: December 10, 2009 from 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, December 10, 2009, 5:00 p.m.
Walkthrough and conversation between exhibiting artist Kris Martin and AAM Associate Curator Matthew Thompson
Thursday, December 17, 2009, 6:00 p.m.
California College of the Arts Wattis Institue Director Jens Hoffman will discuss the work of Kris Martin
Belgian artist Kris Martin creates objects in which the ideas and the materials are carefully refined. From a full-size church bell to a pile of broken wristwatches, an enigmatic bomb to a blank train information board, Martin’s works emphasize time: its making, its passage, and its role in aging. Martin explores time’s relationship to faith and to our self-conception and sense of mortality, and he cues into these essential elements of our worldview with a wit and incisiveness that is disarmingly earnest and direct.
Martin’s exhibition in the Aspen Art Museum features all new work. In the lower gallery, Martin will position five large, human-height boulders and mark their apexes with tiny iron crosses. This shift of scale and perspective turns these rocks into mountains, their cracks into crevasses, and their highest points into symbols of arduous accomplishment. For Martin, the summit marker imparts the comforting knowledge that, although the journey ahead may seem overwhelming, someone has been there before.
Also included in the exhibition is Martin’s Idiot (2005). Printed to resemble a pocket bible, this artist’s book consists of Martin’s hand transcription of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s 1868 novel The Idiot in which the artist has replaced the name of the book’s protagonist with his own. This work becomes an unconventional self-portrait, an extreme act of adulation in which Martin identifies with Myshkin's desire for spiritual transformation. In addition to conventional distribution, the book will be placed in hotel rooms throughout Aspen, including: Annabelle Inn, Hotel Aspen, Hotel Durant, Hotel Jerome, Hotel Lenado, Innsbruck Inn, Limelight Lodge, The Little Nell, Mountain Chalet, Molly Gibson Lodge, Mountain House Lodge, the St. Moritz, St. Regis Resort, Aspen, and Sky Hotel.
Kris Martin was born in 1972 and is based in Ghent, Belgium. Solo shows include P.S.1, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007). Group shows include Traces du sacré, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2008); Passengers, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2007); Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London (2007); and Of Mice and Men: 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2006).
Kris Martin is organized by the Aspen Art Museum and funded in part by the AAM National Council. Exhibition lectures are presented by the Questrom Lecture Series.