Martin Gayford lives and works in Lewes and London. He studied at Middlesex Polytechnic and Winchester School of Art. Recent group exhibitions include: ‘To Paint the Gloom Itself’, Terrace Gallery, London, 2019; and ‘States of Disruption’, MIR Project Space, London, 2019. ‘Start Of / End Of’, Gayford’s solo exhibition of recent drawings and paintings was held at Star Brewery Gallery, Lewes during September.
Martin Gayford's practice involves many different means and modes of experimenting with the tipping point between figurative and abstract concerns. His recent solo exhbition in Lewes included new works from several ongoing bodies of paintings and drawings that refer to the built environment. Condensed over time, Gayford's visual library of painterly signifiers and graphite forms results in the creation of vistas that owe as much to the histories of landscape painting and urban photography as those of abstraction and minimalist painting.
The artist's most recent pencil drawings contain few compositional footholds for orientation, leaving the viewer sliding around and looking for referential clues in the design of each glassy, graphite territory. In the two drawings selected for 'Real Time' from 2019 ('Untitled' and 'Nightlife'), however, we are afforded enough visual distance from the subject to imagine ourselves in actual proximity of it; a blocky, rationally structured innercity world of high-rise buildings, associated with amorphous and slippery definitions of exchange. But with the shifting of the light, the shiny surfaces appear to variably morph - in some areas possibly breaking down, in others simply and beautfully reflecting external sources - as if each a partially frozen image temporarily created during a digital moment of interruption.
'Radiator Building', 2020, pencil on paper