Below the surface of Shantell Martin’s signature black and white drawings is an artists’ inquiry into the role of artist and viewer, where a work of art is more than an object of admiration disconnected from its inception. With a meditative process defined by an uninhibited flow, her compositions embody her internal state and the impermanence of the world around her. Exploring themes such as intersectionality, identity, and play, Martin is a cultural facilitator, forging new connections between fine art, education, design, philosophy, and technology.
In addition to prestigious solo shows at some of the most renowned art institutions including the 92Y Gallery in New York City, the iconic Albright Knox Gallery, and the MoCADA Museum, Martin has carved a path for herself that is as much intellectual as a producer and visual artist. During her two year tenure as an MIT Media Lab Visiting Scholar, Martin collaborated with the social computing group to use drawing as a medium to explore the interaction of social processes with physical spaces.
At the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Martin created a large-scale wall installation and worked with the Institute’s research group to explore how visual and computerized storytelling might influence media and technology innovation.
A fashion and design icon in her own right, Martin has collaborated with iconic brands such as Nike, Vitra, Max Mara, Tiffany & Co., and in 2018, Puma launched a global capsule collection featuring her drawings. Martin has collaborated with legendary artists such as Pulitzer Prize-winning performance artist Kendrick Lamar and acclaimed designer Kelly Wearstler. In late 2018, she was asked to collaborate with the prestigious New York City Ballet, where she created large scale drawings in the performance hall and foyer of the Lincoln Center for the company’s celebrated Art Series. She continues to teach as an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program), where she works with her students to push the boundaries of storytelling, visual art, and technology.
The relationship between an artist and collector should be just that... a relationship. If you are interested in purchasing original artworks please check out the shop and if you are interested in commissioning original artwork, she would like to get to know YOU a little better through a series of questions that will ensure the work she creates goes to great people that will love and value it. Please feel free to emails Sales@ShantellMartin.com for any other shop related questions.
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The Denver Art Museum (DAM) recently announced the acquisition of two complementary, site-specific installations by Shantell Martin, currently on view at the DAM in the exhibition Shantell Martin: Words and Lines. The museum also announced the extension of the popular exhibition (originally slated to close January 31, 2021) until May 31, 2021. Acquired with funds from the DAM’s Volunteer Acquisitions Endowment Fund, the two works are now part of the DAM’s collection of modern and contemporary art.
“The Denver Art Museum is thrilled to purchase Martin’s two site-specific installations for the permanent collection, to ensure that the museum will be able to share them with current and future visitors,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “These works have become visitor favorites and I’m thrilled to add Shantell Martin and her work to our collection.”
The two acquired works, The Elevator and Column, will both remain on extended view in the atrium of the museum’s Daniel Libeskind-designed Hamilton Building for visitors to experience. The Elevator allows viewers to physically enter one of Martin’s signature drawings. Wrapping the interior of one of the DAM’s elevators with vinyl from floor to ceiling, The Elevator transforms the ordinary task of moving up and down between floors into an immersive art experience. With phrases such as “Why are you here?,” and “Let’s help each other rise,” Martin’s work invites audiences to reflect on their active role in the museum. Upon exiting the elevator, visitors can see a continuation of Martin’s drawings on the column located on each level of the Hamilton Building. Titled Column, this installation depicts stick figures standing on the shoulders of one another in a communal gesture of support, helping each other ascend the four-story column. The column drawings amplify the artist’s presence throughout the museum and highlight Martin’s idea that art elevates individuals in limitless ways and in unexpected places.
“We are honored to support the museum in the acquisition of these two works,” said Frieda Levine, Volunteer President at the DAM. “The central location of the pieces and the meaning behind these works make this acquisition incredibly special to the volunteers, museum visitors, staff, and the community as a whole.”
Since its founding in 1978, the department of modern and contemporary art at the DAM has grown from fledgling roots into a collection of more than 7,000 artworks made between 1900 and today. Areas of strength in the historic collection include representation of artists from the School of Paris, Alfred Stieglitz’s cohort of artists, and Surrealism. The distinguished mid-century collection includes works by Robert Motherwell and Herbert Bayer, as well as paintings by pioneering women artists of Abstract Expressionism. Contemporary internationally renowned artists include new German painters and young British artists, as well as Chinese, Latin American, and American artists. Since 2015, the collection has been overseen and curated by Rebecca R. Hart, Vicki and Kent Logan Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.