Martyn Hill

Untitled, 2017. Oil, enamel on canvas. 30 x 23 cm.


“Art Favours Nothing in Particular” Martyn Hill


My Interest is in a pictorial, fictive space, which blurs the distinction between the abstract and the material world. That is to say, the means of abstraction is used in order to engage the picture plane as just that - a plane for picturing to happen. Reworking Greenberg's pejorative term 'homeless representation into a positive avenue of enquiry here is a recognition that illusionism is an inescapable consequence of mark making and that depiction and artifice are in fact, just as real and elemental to painting as surface, edge and colour. Curious whether painting should reject or cultivate its capacity to create pictorial space and contrary to the expansionism that currently dominates almost every aspect of contemporary art, I see paintings basic underlying binary opposition between plane and depth, figure and ground, puts forward a radical modesty examining a visual fiction and its implications.

Since 1999 I have regularly worked and exhibited in collaboration with Michael Walker under the name WalkerHill.

WalkerHill’s overlapping areas of interest and practice is noticeable for its exploration of the abstract avant-garde and in particular, its relation to the applied arts. A usage of decoration in the reassessment of certain Modernist tropes7 reflect that much of today’s arts interest is in the migration and repatriation of idioms between the domains of high art and mass culture. Yet in much of the work there is a knowing humour or irony, which deflates the reverent earnestness that can accompany discussions of Constructivism and Minimalism. In view of that and marked noticeable by their interest in a deliberately handmade self-conscious process frequently rendered with a skewed improvised sensibility WalkerHill slyly hint to the oft ‘actual’ wonkiness and maladroitness (in its structures and surfaces) of modernisms early abstract innovations

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