Staff Pick: Fair Touching

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From the January 17, 2013 edition

When Canzani Center exhibitions director Michael Goodson first saw some of the works in Brooklyn-based artist Sam Martineau’s exhibit “Fair Touching,” he’ll admit, “I thought some were sort of awful.”

The 13 paintings in the show are all one size, but that’s where the uniformity ends. Each whispers hints to a different era or style of painting — from minimalism to clunky ’70s pizazz — with Martineau’s modern, post-painting touch evident in his playful use of material — from T-shirts spread across the canvas to chopped-up, pattern-rich dish towels forming the painting.

“He disrupts painting in a way that is very good,” Goodson said.

Martineau’s little decisions like using matchbooks, tissues and plastic shopping bag overlays in understated ways throughout his paintings eventually convinced Goodson of their value.

“They never try too hard to be beautiful,” he said. “I love pieces that change my mind.”

Let them slyly convince you of their cleverness, too.

Photo by Meghan Ralston