Artist Christopher Martin is hosting a grand opening for his new gallery on East Meadow Drive this President’s Day weekend. The grand opening event will take place on Saturday, February 19 from 6-9 p.m. and will include a toast from the artist, as well as cocktails and light snacks.
Vail is Martin’s latest addition to a series of galleries, with current locations in Aspen and Dallas. The Vail location opened in December 2021 and is now open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The gallery features Martin’s original works and limited edition pieces, as well as the work of American sculptors and painters of various mediums and international photographers.
“Vail has some obvious amazing aspects that any retailer would love to be in, but this space made me feel like there was something extremely special about it,” Martin said. “I’ve been there and been through it, and I really felt like it was meant to be part of what I do. I’ve done that over the years, and I’ve always found that when I find this feeling, it is the right decision.
Martin is known for his signature technique of Verre Eglomisé, a style of painting executed on glass-like surfaces that dates back to the 14th century. According to his websiteMartin’s earliest experiments with the style were on store windows, and he gradually honed and applied the technique to achieve a uniquely modern aesthetic over his 28-year career.
Explaining Martin’s work, artist Johnny Sampson writes, “This ‘golden glass’, or reverse glass painting, is made by working on the background of his Lucite canvases, starting with the foreground and layering sixty compositions , on top of each other, to achieve a depth and luminosity inaccessible with traditional canvas.
Although his mode of creation is highly technical and intentional, Martin draws inspiration for his works from nature and aims to reflect organic patterns and processes in his paintings. He calls his style “Organic Expressionism”, combining abstraction with images, colors, patterns and textures found in the world around him.
“I try to blend the line between something that seems to have formed naturally and something that has a definite painterly influence,” Martin said. “Being in the middle of that is where I like to be, and if you see my work in person, you can see that a lot of the detail is very organic in terms of the fundamentals of the piece.”
Antonio Cortez is the Executive Director of the Christopher Martin Gallery and oversees the curation of pieces for each location. Cortez has worked with Martin’s Galleries since 2015 and believes visitors and members of the Vail community will find strong points of connection with the art.
“There’s an intrinsic connection that people feel when they witness his work,” Cortez said. “There is a respect and reverence for nature in terms of the color palette, the brush strokes, the processes he uses to create the marks on his paintings. Regardless of any knowledge about art, abstraction or expressionism, this part manifests.
Martin now lives full time in Aspen, where he creates the majority of his new work, and draws inspiration from the mountain environment.
“More than just a feeling or emotion, it tries to represent its own connection to nature,” Cortez said. “That’s how he moved to the mountains. The more ability he has to live in such a stimulating environment, the better he is represented in his work.
In addition to Martin’s original pieces, Cortez has also curated pieces by a number of other mid-career American artists who reflect Martin’s style and sensibility. Other featured artists include Steve Wrubel, Isabelle Van Zeijl, Jeff Muhs, Ysabel LeMay, Kinga Czerska, Paul Bloch and David Middlebrook.
“I curated an exhibit that represents connections to nature — Western sensibility, horses, flowers, artists working with a bit of atmospherics in their work,” Cortez said. “Artists who have a feeling for color, and who are sensitive and sensitive to water, to the mountains.”
Martin and Cortez will attend the grand opening on February 19. The evening will begin with a champagne toast from Martin at 6 p.m., followed by cocktails and light snacks as visitors are invited to browse the gallery and ask questions of the artist himself. .
“I just feel like some cities and some places have a very high attention to detail and quality and things that move them, and you find them here in Aspen, you find them in Vail,” Martin said. . “As long as I’m doing work that feels like it meets that challenge for me, then people, I hope, will respond well to it.”
For more information on Christopher Martin and his latest gallery in Vail, visit ChristopherMartinGallery.com.