KRIS MARTIN. EXIT. S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium. MARCH 7 – MAY 31, 2020. Artist Talk, Sunday, March 8, 11am
Sean Kelly congratulates Kris Martin on his major retrospective EXIT opening at S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Belgium. Martin has exhibited his work internationally for over twenty years, but this will be his first retrospective in his home country. Martin is widely recognized for a rigorous conceptual practice in which he addresses existential questions with subtlety and wit. His sculptures, drawings, photographs and installations reflect his ongoing preoccupation with matters of human existence and its contradictions, incorporating concepts such as transience, identity and death. In his work Martin often makes use of the readymade; through subtle acts of displacement and with minimal intervention, he re-contextualizes familiar objects, infusing them with new meaning.
EXIT establishes a subtle dialogue with the oeuvre of Jan Van Eyck, coinciding with the exhibition Van Eyck. An optical revolution at the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent (MSK) and is S.M.A.K.’s contribution to the city of Ghent’s year-long celebration, OMG! Van Eyck was here. Martin is an admirer of the Van Eyck brothers’ work and shares their affinity for rich symbolism. His iconic work, Altar is currently installed in front of St Bavo’s Cathedral, in celebration of the return of the Ghent altarpiece to the Cathedral.