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About Martin Webb
Martin Webb is an English-born artist, currently based in San Francisco. Although he is primarily a painter, Martin also makes prints, sculptural objects, murals, public and commissioned art. The artist’s intention is to create evocative, resonant images that can recall common feelings and memories.
Webb came to the East Bay Area in 2003. He was already a high school art teacher for several years in England, when he decided to come on a one-year teacher exchange to the United States, where he taught at Hogan High in Vallejo. Determined to make a change, Martin started working as a designer and installer for The Concretist, a small company specialized in creative decorative concrete floors.
Over the course of years, Webb has developed a simple visual language of abstract shapes, patterns, representational symbols and figures. The artist usually works on multiple paintings simultaneously, focused on color, composition, and materials. Martin’s aversion to art stores consequently led to his affection towards construction materials – cement, industrial pigments, reclaimed wood, and found metal objects. He also mixes his own paint from acrylic, pigments and cement compound to make a paint that can be used in different consistencies. By repeatedly layering the paint, he creates rich textured surfaces and sands particular areas of a painting.
My work contemplates fundamental things such as our basic need to provide for ourselves; our desire for home, belonging, and connection; and our being a small temporary part of the natural world’s continuum. These thoughts take shape in images and objects that combine simple representations, layered abstractions, and plain-spoken materials.
People and places are depicted in images and objects that combine simple representations, layered abstractions, and plain-spoken materials. I’m always fascinated by people’s relationship with the land and time, how the natural and manmade landscape records people’s movements and stories, and in particular, the way that things we regard as solid and permanent are actually temporary, in flux, and part of a continuum much larger than ourselves.
2018. Aninstantia Foundation Visual Arts Grant
2009-10. Northern California Public Art Academy.
1999-2000. Fulbright/British Council exchange to the US.
1991. Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds UK. Post Graduate Certificate in Art Education.
1986. Lancaster University UK Bachelor of Arts Honors - Visual Arts.
2017. Dreamboat, a child-focused permanent installation at The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento.
2015. Many Streams solo show at The Compound Gallery, Oakland.
2015. Nightwalking solo show at City of Berkeley’s Addison Street Windows Gallery.
2014. Solo show at Stanford University, curated by DeWitt Cheng.
2013. Made for You and Me, Compound Gallery, Oakland, solo show.
2011. Making the Road by Walking, Compound Gallery, Oakland CA 2 person show with Thomas Christopher Haag
2010. The Peregrines Metro Gallery, City Hall, Reno NV.
2009. Well, how did I get here? De La Sole, San Francisco CA
2009. Fully Guaranteed Genuine Pure Zza’s, Oakland CA.
2008. Best Western Esteban Sabar Gallery Oakland CA.
2008. Solo show. Tercera Gallery Palo Alto CA.