Save the date! Friday, August 31, Members Reception for Improvisations in Time: Eugene J. Martin and the Masur Museum of Art (August 4 – October 20, 2012).

6 – 7 pm: Special Event for Patrons and Donors only. If you are a Patron level member or higher, please join us at this exclusive event for a champagne toast. Meet Eugene Martin’s widow Suzanne Fredericq, who will join us from Lafayette to speak about her husband. If you are not sure of your level of membership, please give us a call.

7 – 9 pm: Members reception. Join us for the reception for all levels of museum membership. If you are not a museum member, call us to join!

7:30 pm: Gallery Talk with Eugene Martin scholar Marie Vinouze. Marie earned her M.A. in the History of Art at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and is the preeminent Martin scholar.  She will travel from Paris, France to speak about Martin’s art and our exhibition. Vinouze is an exhibition coordinator at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The Masur Museum of Art is excited to announce the recent acquisition of twenty-four works of art from the estate of the artist Eugene J. Martin. The Masur’s exhibition celebrates Martin’s legacy as a visual artist in Louisiana and around the world.  Martin studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art and Design in Washington D.C.  His often humorous and highly abstract paintings, collages, drawings, and photographs primarily deal with the concepts of time and memory.  He has exhibited at Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, MS; Louisiana State University Museum of Art, LA; Walter Anderson Museum of Art, MS; New Orleans African American Museum, LA; Lilly Gallery, Duke University; and Michel Rooryck Gallery, Ghent, Belgium.  Martin’s art also resides in the permanent collections of the Munich Museum of Modern Art, Munich, Germany; Ogden Museum of Southern Art, LA; University of Delaware Museums, DE; Schomburg Center for Black Culture, NY; Sheldon Museum of Art, NE; and Stowitts Museum, CA

On the surface, Eugene J. Martin’s work appears to be an after-the-fact riff on modernism driven abstraction. His work is related to this tradition, but is something more. Martin was an accomplished Jazz musician and incorporated his experience of rhythmic improvisation also associated with High Modernism or Abstract Expressionism as a means of illustrating the irregular, non-linear, but cyclical manner humans perceive, understand, and experience the world around them. He used biomorphic and quasi-mechanical abstractions to create this link with the physical perceived world, but warped them to reference the slipstream nature of consciousness as well. The improvisational language Martin ascribed to any moment or period of time plays back into how he considered his oeuvre. He conceived of it as fluid and let it be guided directly by variables such as access to art making materials dictated by his financial means, a passing interest in any given media or subject matter, and his mood. He would also muddle the chronology of his work by creating new work to add on to old pieces, dismantle a completed artwork and incorporate it into several works, or do the same with photographs of his art. This totally integrated art practice is what makes Martin stand apart from other artists; his improvisations were rigorous and permeated his entire decision making process.