A collection of outstanding works by critically acclaimed multimedia artist Peter Martensen are currently on display in Chelsea. In his latest exhibition titled The Power of Silence, Martensen presents oil on canvas paintings, charcoal drawings, and lithographs that revolve around the themes of isolation and loss of individuality in the midst of today’s busy, fast-moving society. He uses monochromatic color patterns often choosing hues of grey and blue, and many of his works illustrate groups of people who each appear to be in their own world, not relating to others.
For instance, The Waiting features six men standing in a lake with the water coming up to their shoulders; each one of them are wearing business shirts and are looking down or out into the distance. Pieces of paper can be seen floating in the sepia colored water, and the shadows of each man are indicated by a darker shade of brown. At the bottom of the image, a village with trees and houses can be seen.
In another painting, The Park, several people are seen in a large public outdoor space and not engaging with one and other. In the distance, one man dressed in white is kneeling down on a patch of grass while another man in the foreground is collecting a batch of leaves, as a man dressed in a blue suit is standing next to him with his hands on his hips and a stern expression on his face. On the other side of the image, a man is standing next to a tree with bare branches, holding a suitcase and papers are scattered near his feet.
Some of Martensen’s paintings feature subjects who are completely alone such as in The Attention, where an elderly woman appears lost as she is standing in a pathway in a forest. Other notable works include two paintings, titled The Listener 1 and The Listener 2 respectively both of which are up-close portraits of two young women listening intently to what is happening on the other side of the wall.
Martensen is from Denmark and studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Odense before attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. His work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Bertrand Delacroix Gallery in the past and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe, and his work is part of several prominent public collections, including the Statens Museum in Denmark, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Gothenburg Art Museum in Sweden.
In addition, Martensen has been commissioned to make pieces for the NOKIA Head Office and Saxo Bank Head Office in Copenhagen, among several other corporate commissions. He currently lives and works in Hellerup, a small Danish town just outside of Copenhagen.
At The Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, 535 W. 25th St., through Jul. 5. The gallery is open Tues.—Sat. from 10 a.m.—6 p.m.