Like a Rorschach test in psychoanalysis, what I see in an abstract painting might say more about me than the art. So with apologies to Elyse Martin, here’s some of what I found in her scrupulously chaotic compositions, meant to be shown this spring at NYCH Gallery in Pilsen: melting ice cream cones, a corpse amid its entrails, God reaching toward Adam, a big fish with a tiny one swimming beside it, gasoline dazzling in a puddle on asphalt, a giant oyster shell, a map of Quebec. But enough about me. In Martin’s paintings, blobs, scraps, scrapes and pours of every color and texture cluster densely together and sit, float or stand atop candy-colored grounds. The effect is bright and happy yet ruined. The energy is riotous but definitely under control. Two new paintings, made during quarantine, are darker and dimmer, and Martin has split those dense crowds of acrylic apart, into smaller masses that hover a safe distance of at least six feet apart. No need for psychoanalysis to make associations with that.
—Lori Waxman 2020-08-24 8:22 AM