Sue Scott Gallery is pleased to announce Martha Diamond: Bright Brush Paintings, opening in the Project Room. For this particular grouping of small works, Diamond continues her fascination with structures and architecture, painting abstracted buildings by linking spontaneous and direct strokes of paint, a type of mark that comes from using a particular kind of paintbrush called the Bright. This brush has short hairs with a flat, square end making it ideal for short, hard-edged strokes. Diamond first used the Bright in her childhood, attempting to make a flowing line using poster paint on newsprint to copy a Chinese painting of a horse. Unable to hold enough oil paint, though, the Bright is terrible for the long, sinuous line of a horse’s back.
Diamond never used that particular brush again until decades later when she learned that two artists she respects liked it. Using this brush again, she decided to make long lines by piecing together short, abbreviated marks. The Bright became a way to “build a line differently with paint, rather than just pulling a line.” In this series of paintings, Diamond synthesizes her strokes into Ivory Black checkerboards, intersecting ovals, exploding stars, pitched rooftops, and two philosophers dancing on a ledge. The additive and direct application of the paint is a vehicle that is both mark and meaning.
A Manhattan native, Diamond attended Carleton College in Minnesota. Her work is in the permanent collections of numerous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, ME; and the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; among others. This is her first exhibition with the gallery.