Marta Marcé

Berlin, Germany | by February 14, 2014

Marta’s stu­dio is located in a ren­o­vated live/​work loft space in Kreuzberg that she shares with her music pro­ducer part­ner and their two and a half year old son. Marta moved to Berlin four years ago after liv­ing in Lon­don for eleven years and before that Madrid, Spain.

Marta describes her­self as a ‘painterly painter’ and rightly so. Her paint­ings that are mostly large scale, honor the vis­i­ble pres­ence of the hand. Using tape and brushes with acrylic paint, she cre­ates lay­ered all over com­po­si­tions that res­onate in flat­ness and depth reveal­ing the active process of adding and subtracting.

After climb­ing up two flights of an exter­nal spi­ral stair­case located in the first hof/​courtyard of the build­ing, I arrived some­what pre­car­i­ously through the back entry of her place that was the bath­room. She led me through a hall­way stacked with wrapped can­vases and sat me down at her kitchen table. While she made a pot of green tea, she began to talk ener­get­i­cally about her his­tory, process and ideas. It came as no sur­prise to me this energy trans­lates directly into her work. We first met at a party a mutual friend hosted where wild danc­ing ensued after a very ele­gant din­ner. If not the leader of this out­come, Marta was cer­tainly a vibrant source of being the ‘life of the party’. And she does like to party. Hav­ing a part­ner who is a music and events pro­ducer for a music label, they both get to expe­ri­ence the great club scene that Berlin has to offer on a reg­u­lar basis.

There is a rhythm and move­ment vis­i­ble in all her paint­ings that is indeed painterly, but most def­i­nitely musi­cal. After see­ing her work on her web­site, I knew I had to see them in per­son. Clearly inspired by the work of Mor­ris Louis and Gene Davis of the Wash­ing­ton Color School, her paint­ings are bright and geo­met­ric and for me, was a nice sur­prise to see in the con­text of the Berlin con­tem­po­rary art scene that is dom­i­nated by an aes­thetic that all too often makes ref­er­ence to the work of Ger­hard Richter, Neo Rauch and in gen­eral to the Ger­man Expres­sion­ist move­ment. While I love both afore­men­tioned artists and am intrigued how con­tem­po­rary artists appro­pri­ate and dis­till them in their own lan­guage, I also appre­ci­ate artists who can respond to the sta­tus quo. I don’t think Marta is con­sciously doing this and per­haps why I enjoy her work even more. They exist hap­pily on their own in an entirely dif­fer­ent con­text. I am par­tic­u­larly inter­ested in the imper­fec­tions of her tap­ing and I like the inten­tion of using tape to cre­ate the imper­fect line, while using her hand in an attempt to cre­ate that per­fect hard edge — which is the oppo­site of how most artists approach the use of the tape opposed to the brush and hand. The work is deft and based on geo­met­ric sys­tems of language.

She specif­i­cally points out philoso­pher Gior­doano Bruno and his book Geom­e­try of Lan­guage and Mar­tin Heidegger’s On the Way to Lan­guage as inspi­ra­tional texts to her Iki series. Marta’s Iki (which means the nature of art in Japan­ese) series is a body of work that includes words such as ‘light’, ‘phys­i­cal’ and ‘spri­tiual’, all words that are con­nected to the paint­ing process as well as to the human con­di­tion. Her cur­rent body of work has moved away from lin­guis­tics and is titled Now or Never. The imper­a­tive in this title series is cer­tainly indica­tive of her drive to be in the present moment. While she has been curated into a few group shows since mov­ing to Berlin, she is actively seek­ing out oppor­tu­ni­ties for solo exhi­bi­tions and gallery representation.

Marta clearly is com­mit­ted to her vision and prac­tice and I per­son­ally am look­ing for­ward to watch­ing her devel­op­ment — and in the mean­time maybe join her in one of her club­bing escapades. (That’s a big maybe).

Marta earned her mas­ters degree from the Royal Col­lege of Art in Lon­don. She is rep­re­sented by Rifle­maker in Lon­don and Gale­ria Mori­arty in Madrid. To see and learn more about Marta’s work, go to her web­site:



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1 Comment

  • Paulina says:

    The Jan­u­ary 5 show. Sing Sing Sing.Buddy Rich did play the drums on Sing Sing Sing with Benny Good­man, but it was, if mem­ory sveres, in the 1960s, in a Stock­holm or Copen­hagen concert.Gene Krupa did play the drums on Sing Sing Sing with Benny Good­man, and it was in the famous Carnegie Hall con­cert, with Harry James.The ver­sion you played 1/​5/​13 was the Buddy Rich ver­sion from the 1960s. I know this for sev­eral rea­sons, among them, there were not the indi­vid­ual solos of trum­pet, clar­inet, sax, piano, AND drums of Carnegie Hall, and, in the 1960s ver­sion Benny uses some licks sim­i­lar to those of a Louis Spohr clar­inet con­certo (clas­si­cal music) that were not in the Carnegie Hall con­cert. Benny may be the best all-​​around clar­inetist there ever was.I highly rec­om­mend a com­pi­la­tion CD, Benny Goodman-​​16 Most Requested Songs, which has sev­eral num­bers from the Carnegie Hall con­cert includ­ing the defin­i­tive Sing Sing Sing, and Why Don’t You Do Right by Peggy Lee that is hard to believe a ~20 year old is singing. Won­der­ful CD.

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