Archived exhibition
3rd Floor Gallery

Kenneth and Mary Martin
Drawings

31 October–20 December 2013

The exhibition includes 39 drawings by Kenneth Martin and 28 drawings by Mary Martin.

Kenneth and Mary Martin were both teachers at Goldsmiths School of Art and Chelmsford School of Art respectively, and had their first joint exhibition in 1954 at the Heffer Gallery in London. Since then they have had joint shows in 1960 at the ICA, a touring Arts Council exhibition 1970–71 and more recently in 2007 at the Camden Arts Centre (this travelled to Tate St Ives and the De La Warr Pavilion). In 1956 they collaborated on an ‘environment’ for the seminal exhibition This is Tomorrow at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.

Throughout their careers Kenneth and Mary drew on each other for ideas and inspiration, which becomes apparent when seeing the works installed side by side. Kenneth came to abstraction in 1949, Mary in 1950. Although their works fit into British Constructivism formally, Kenneth did not want to be labeled ‘Constructivist’ but preferred ‘constructive artist’.

The drawings by Kenneth Martin in this exhibition vary between studies for his Screw Mobiles and the later Chance and Order drawings. Everything in his drawings is functional and they carry evidence of how they came about.

Mary Martin’s drawings are more spontaneous and less formal than Kenneth’s and include early collages as well as drawings related to her series of Permutation reliefs.