Virginia Martinsen creates oil paintings and photographic collages that revolve around the artist’s encounters with exhibition spaces. Within these settings, Martinsen inverts the traditional art-space relationship; she strips the environs of their otherwise inherent conceptual weights and instead unveils the palpable documentation of their histories – the floors, walls, corners, and rafters that materialize totalities of the movement of people, things, and time within. What’s left is a trace, a simultaneous reference to and negation of the imposition of aura. Her paintings' textural diversity and coexistence, the works address the increasingly opaque bond between creator and creation. The control and lack there of apparent in the works suggests one possible point of clarity – that the act of painting is a collaborative “call and recall” process between artist and material; with each gesture of the hand, there is an equally significant response from the oil paint.
Virginia Martinsen lives and works in New York City. Her most recent solo exhibitions have been at Mike Weiss Gallery and ATM Gallery in New York. Martinsen and her work have been written about in ARTnews, The Village Voice, and others.