Martha Channer

 "There is an imagination below the earth that abounds in animal forms, that revels and makes music" James Hillman. The Dream and the underworld

As a painter I process and feel in abstractions, which I perceive as visual and spatial connections to unamable realities. These emotions, passions, drives, and sometimes obsessions are visually embodied as ephemeral yet universal understandings; deeply embedded in the ordinary forms of our material world, but who's essence is derived from a completely abstract and dominant source. My work is designed to dance with these profound imperatives in a flow of symbolic abbreviations: forms that conjure physical associations; gestures that are musical; and color that is layered  and complex like nature. My compositions arise from motional and emotional patterns associated with music, dance, and choreography - my gesture  from the primal, unshriven, and purely energetic borderline between form and non-form.   

  • Painting
  • Printmaking
Artist Bio

 I was nurtured by Chicago's rich cultural scene where good art and great mentors abound. Tutored by the "Chicago school" I was left with lasting impressions of prominent Chicago artists such as Bebe Krimmer, Ed Paschke, Jim Merrell, Frieda Hogan, and Jim Zanzi. I was also deeply influenced by Chicago artists-in-residence such as Vito Acconci and Alwin Nikolais.

After attending The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and receiving my BFA from Barat College, I concentrated on dance and choreography. I combined these explorations with prop and set design and created gallery installations for performance. My love of form, movement, and meaning is as present in my painting as it is in my choreography; dance has greatly affected the quality of gesture in my work.

I work in latex and acrylic, but acheive the visual and color effects that are typically associated with oil paints. By using multiple layers of transparencies to create depth of field, applying textural effects that produce actual depth, and creating forms that conjure subliminal associations, my technique serves the meaning of the work much as good writing serves literary content and intent.   MARTHA CHANNER