TopologiesPhotographs by Edgar Martins
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With artful composition and controlled framing Edgar Martins creates sublimely beautiful views of often un-beautiful sites. Minimalist nighttime beaches, forests ravaged by fires, and Iceland's stark terrain have all served as subjects for his large-scale color photographs. He also explores the unexpected impact of modernism on the landscape, including startlingly graphic airport runways and colorful highway barriers that, at first glance, read like abstract murals.
Certain themes recur throughout Martins's work. A sense of place and alienation from it. A sense of mystery—vividly embodied in scenes such as a woman with a bouquet of balloons on a deserted shore. And a sense that something unsettling has just happened or is about to happen—a fire, an accident, a close encounter with some unspecified danger. As John Beardsley notes, "Some images are what we habitually expect photography to be—evidence of the world as we think we know it—while others obscure their subjects through an illusionism that borders on magic."
This project was made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
Edgar Martins (born in Portugal, 1977) grew up in Macau, China; he has lived in England since 1996. His first limited-edition book, Black Holes and Other Inconsistencies, was awarded the Thames and Hudson and RCA Society Art Book Prize; his second, The Diminishing Present, was published in 2006. He is represented by the Photographers’ Gallery, London; Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York; The Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles; and Galeria Graça Brandão, Oporto, and Lisbon, Portugal.