NOEL MARTIN  

(1922-2009)

Carl Solway Gallery opened a new exhibition of Noel Martin paintings on April 20, 2007, the day after the acclaimed painter and graphic designer’s 85th birthday. Spanning four decades, 1966 – 2006, this exhibition featured 101 of his abstract paintings, establishing Martin’s significant place within the tradition of American Modernism.

For 60 years, Martin’s work has cast its influence on the worlds of graphic design and fine art. His impact on the visual culture of greater Cincinnati during the 20th century might be likened to that of Frank Duveneck’s during the 19th century. Celebrating the work of this Cincinnati treasure this year is not limited to one organization. In addition to the exhibition at Carl Solway Gallery, an installment of the series Graphic Content at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) showcases the interrelationship between the artist’s design work and painting.

Born in Syracuse, Ohio in 1922, Martin moved to Cincinnati as a child. He attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati from 1939-41 and from 1945-47. He studied painting, drawing and printmaking. Upon completing his studies, he was immediately hired by the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) to design and prepare exhibitions. At the CAM, he taught himself graphic design and typography, becoming a strong force in a movement to visually transform museum catalogues into beautiful, avant-garde publications.

His reputation as a designer spread nationally and internationally as he attracted numerous prestigious corporate clients. He became the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, at venues such as the CAC (1954 and 1971), the Rhode Island School of Design (1955) and the Addison Gallery of American Art (1955). He was included in “Four American Graphic Designers” (1953) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cincinnati Art Directors in 1989.

 

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas 28 x 22 in.
Many Points, 1966
Acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 in.
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas 48 x 24 in.
Grid of four, 2004
Each of the 12 x 24 in. acrylic on canvas paintings, may be purchased in a grouping of two or four
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas 48 x 24 in.
Flexible English Curve, 1966
Acrylic on canvas 30 x 18 in.
Scheme of Other Things, 1970 Acrylic on canvas 20 x 40 in. Grid of "circuit board" shapes, 2005-2006
Each of the 20 x 16 in. acrylic on canvas paintings may be purchased separately or in a grouping of any number
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
Untitled, 1974
Acrylic on canvas 30 x 30 in.
Grid of diagonals, 2001-2006
Each of the 20 x 16 in. acrylic on canvas paintings may be purchased separately or in a grouping of any number
Untitled, 1967
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches

Repeated Three Times, 1969
Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in.
Depth Problem, 1971
Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 in.
Overlapping Lines, 1972
Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 22 in.
Four by Four, 1969 Acrylic on canvas, 41 x 40.25 in.
Three X’s, 1968
Acrylic on canvas, 8 x 48 in.

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
Grid of curved shapes, 1990-2006
Each of the 20 x 16 inch acrylic on canvas paintings may be purchased separately or in a group of any number
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas 24 x 36 in.
Within the Border, 1972
Acrylic on canvas 12 x 12 in.
Ixley, circa 1970
Acrylic on canvas 10 x 30 in.
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
Big Shapes, 1970
Acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 in.
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas 24 x 36 in.
Landscape grid, 2002-2003
Each of the 20 x 16 inch acrylic on canvas paintings may be purchased separately or in a grouping of any number
False Math, 1966
Acrylic on canvas 24 x 46 in.
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
Untitled, 1974
Acrylic on canvas 30 x 30 in.
Untitled, 1975
Acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 in.
Untitled, 2005
Acrylic on canvas 36 x 24 in.
Column of circles & rectangles, 2005
Each of the 12 x 12 inch acrylic on canvas paintings may be purchased separately or in a grouping of any number
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas 36 x 24 in.
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas 36 x 24 in.
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas 36 x 24 in.

Free Lines, 1967 Acrylic on
canvas 48.5 x 12 in.
Untitled, 2006 Acrylic on
canvas 34.25 x 18 in.
Untitled, 2005 Acrylic on
canvas 24 x 20 in.
Untitled, circa 1970 Acrylic
on canvas 16 x 30 in.
Two Diamonds, 1966 Acrylic
on canvas 48.5 x 36 in.
Untitled, 2005 Acrylic on
canvas 48 x 24 in.
Untitled, 2005 Acrylic on
canvas 28 x 22 in.

Untitled Untitled, 1968
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 7.75 in.