Creating a sizable body of work that ranges over a variety of media—from paintings to sculptures, to ceramics, to etchings—Martha Jimenez is interested in the anthropology underlying the works she makes as much as with the formal experience of looking at her art.
Her overt allusions to canonical works and styles, often mingling several art-historical inspiration into one piece, reveals a willingness to examine how art occupies a relational space in the modern world, as opposed to the way works were related to in earlier times. Nonetheless, however firmly rooted and informed by works from a previous time, the importance of Jimenez’s oeuvre lies in the way she recreates these visual precedents, allowing her contemporary intuition to comment on what might otherwise become stolid, academic copies.
In “Untitled 2,” for example, history becomes a kind of template for the artist’s work, a record of endeavor that the contemporary mind can freely enter into (and modify) in accordance with a more experiential logic. The jester-like figure Jimenez depicts won’t remind you of anything, though you’ll feel connected to it instantly.