Swiss artist Martina Gmür, who was born in 1979 in Münster (VS) and lives in Basel, has her first solo show at Kunsthaus Baselland. Her signature trait is a leisurely use of materials — she paints small animals, faces, or other elements with an often childish appearance on rough cutouts of plastic tarpaulins or jute.
The artist picks her motifs from what she has experienced or seen, or from what has been conveyed by the media. The tension existing between individual groups of figures or within the composition of an individual figure makes Gmür choose an image and ‘paint’ her opinion, as it were, about what she has seen. Her unpretentious grounds reflect an easy-going approach to work, which allows her to handle painting traditions with ease and confidence. On jute surfaces, for example, white, a traditional primer, is turned into a painting color with which Gmür tries to lift her motifs form the heavy and coarse ground. The pictures painted on plastic melt into the given configuration and color of the wall, thus transcending the traditional differentiation between picture and wall, a dilemma conventionally overcome by means of picture frames. Up-and-coming artist Martina Gmür presents her newest works in her show fittingly entitled Solo.
Text by Sabine Schaschl