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26 May 2011

Abrons Arts Center presents 'All Good in the Manhood', an exhibition by Miguel Martin

Boy Racer, 2011
Ink on paper
21 x 14,8 cm
Courtesy of the artist, Belfast

'All Good in the Manhood', an exhibition by Miguel Martin curated by Miguel Amado
Abrons Arts Center


Culpeper and Upper Main Galleries May 26–July 10, 2011 Opening reception: May 26, 7–9 pm

Jonathan Durham
+1 2125980400 x202

Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002

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All Good in the Manhood
Miguel Martin

Charles E. Culpeper Gallery
May 26–July 10, 2011
Opening reception: May 26, 7–9 pm

The Abrons Arts Center is proud to present the exhibition “All Good in the Manhood,” the US premiere of Irish/Spanish, Belfast-based artist Miguel Martin, in the Charles E. Culpeper Gallery. Martin addresses the chaotic overtones of violence in contemporary society inspired by surrealist worldviews, street culture, and Gothic imagery. He explores his distinctive, vivid imagination in regard to a specific subject matter—ranging from politics to the collective unconscious—to playfully tell stories in black and white sketchbook or wall-sized drawings, as in the case of this commissioned piece. Resorting to a grotesque humor, his projects smartly fictionalize horror in a dramatic, symbolic yet delicate and even poetic style, making him an intelligent if also sarcastic commentator on everyday life.

All Good in the Manhood represents Martin’s personal attitude towards the nostalgia of a city in general and of Belfast in particular. In the tradition of modern dioramas, which consist of replicas of natural landscapes or urban settings typically showing historical events, this series evolves as a semi-autobiographical narrative in which each image evokes a childhood or teenage memory, thus alluding to situations involving both persons and objects connected to his places of residence in Belfast—Poleglass, Legamaddy, Divis Drive, Queen Street, and Ormeau Road—including a graveyard, his grandmother’s country house, British soldiers and police vans. Using free association techniques and panoramic, multi-perspective renderings of actions, he portrays media personas and domestic scenes such as iconic movie characters and cherished toys in an uncanny, dream-like combination of public and private spheres.

Miguel Martin was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1985. He studied Visual Arts at the University of Ulster in Belfast, graduating in 2008, and since then he has been working in Belfast, notably as a member of Platform Arts, a studio complex in Queen Street. His recent solo shows include “20 Eyes” (PS2 Project Space, Belfast, 2009) and “The Weekly Woe” (Space Delawab, Belfast, 2010). He has participated in several group shows, including “I Spy” (Golden Thread Gallery, Project Space, Belfast, 2009) and “JEMA” (Golden Thread Gallery, Project Space, Belfast, 2010). He also self publishes his own comic books—including “Boredom” (2006) and “The Weekly Woe” (2010)—and often sells his art at Belfast’s monthly Black Market at the Black Box.

The Abrons Arts Center brings innovative artistic excellence to Manhattan’s Lower East Side through diverse, cutting-edge performances, exhibitions, and residencies. Some of the most adventurous artists of the past century have trained, taught, or performed at the Abrons Arts Center. These include, for example, John Cage, Aaron Copland, Dizzy Gillespie, Martha Graham, Alicia Keyes, Alwin Nikolais, Jackson Pollock, Denzel Washington, and Orson Welles.

“All Good in the Manhood”
is supported by the British Council (the UK’s international cultural relations organisation). The exhibition is curated by Miguel Amado, the 2010-11 curator-in-residence at the Abrons Arts Center.