Modern Art, 4-8 Helmet Row, London EC1V 3QJ
3 Oct 2017 – 4 Nov 2017

Martha Jungwirths first UK gallery exhibition at Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London. Occupying an important position in Austrian Art History from 1960, Jungwirths current works oscillate between unconscious and calculated processes and intuitive and aesthetic marks.

Jungwirths paintings, composed of indexical marks and energy, become a map to the processes and physical encounter between the painting and the artist. Instigating an impulsive, intuitive spontaneity way of working and dialogue between herself and the works. The works show an undeniable presence of the artist.


An interesting element to Jungwirths works are the layering techniques and surface quality, combining, what appears to be brown paper, unprimed board and linen canvas. This stitching together of surface alludes to a possibility of the additional surface (board) belonging to something larger- suggestive of a collage, cut and paste process.

The uneven edges suggest fragmentation. Questioning where the work might begin or where it might end. A past life perhaps to a recycled painting or the deconstruction of a larger work, a whole painting divided. Interesting notions of: fragmentation, deconstruction and reutilization.

Raw materials and intrigue between textures, traces and processes form the basis elements in the work.

A key interest when seeing Jungwirths work was the surface of the paintings. The bleeding of oil on unprimed board surrounding impasto marks on the surface of the painting and contrasting fluid, diluted paint sinking into the surface creating stained and streaked marks. Giving transparency to and indicating the materiality of the works.

However, the works may also raise the question, when does mark become mess? Are the works to obvious to their process that they then suggest themselves to be used material? The paper next to the paint pot, subject to mindless drips, stains and acts. How do we then decipher intention of a mark against a mindless, perhaps accidental mark? Does intention behind a mark suggest value? Or perhaps known intention of a mark is irrelevant to the viewing of work itself.


April Jackson.