Martin Myers at Lake George Arts Project
“There’s room for curves,” acknowledges Martin Myers, the prominent artist whose proximity to Lake George has led to a one-man show at the Lake George Arts Project’s Courthouse Gallery.
There may be room for curves, but not in Myers’ own paintings.
“I like straight lines; there are no curves in these paintings. I don’t mind implying curves, though,” Myers said at the show’s opening, which will remain on view through August 16.
An aversion to curves may seem like an odd, obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it’s especially odd in the case of Myers, for whom Oscar Niermeyer’s Sao Paulo apartment building was a formative influence.
As a teenager, Myers lived in that building, which is famous for its sinuous curves. It is even the inspiration for one of the paintings in the show.
“It’s fascinating how early influences manifest themselves later in life, when you can put them to good use,” commented Laura Von Rosk, the Courthouse Gallery’s director.
As Myers himself says in an artist’s statement that he prepared for the show, “Growing up in the megalopolis of Sao Paulo, Brazil, skyscrapers sprouted everywhere and living on a high floor of an exhilarating confection designed by Oscar Niemeyer, I became drawn to the sensation one gets looking down from a skyscraper’s top. Architectural imagery has been a departure point in my artwork ever since.”
Myers says he takes perspective “to its logical, absurd conclusion,” which gives his work a family resemblance to the op art of the mid 1960s.
Oddly enough, though, he began painting with the bright, bold colors associated with that school of painting only after he left New York and moved to Schroon Lake ten years ago.
And although he is drawn to natural phenomena, such as Schroon Lake itself, “I like the idea of everything looking man made; there’s nothing in my work that’s naturalistic in any way,” said Myers.
Myers’ work, then, comes about through a process of elimination. Eliminate curves, eliminate colors found in nature, and you might have a world resembling the paintings in this show.
Myers was born in Syracuse, New York. He received his BFA in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University and MFA from California College of Art. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in many private and public collections.
The Courthouse Gallery, located on Lower Amherst Street in Lake George Village, is open Tuesday through Friday, 12 to 5 pm and Saturday from 12 to 4 pm. Call 668-2616 for more information.