22 23 Ron Martin Bright Red #2, May 1972 Acrylic on canvas 83 3/4 x 72 in. (213 x 183 cm) Signed, titled, dated on verso Provenance: Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto Michael Werner Gallery, Switzerland Ron Martin’s one-colour and all-black paintings of 1971-81 are essential to the history of Canadian post-war art. Widely exhibited and discussed at the time, and acquired by numerous and notable public and private collections across Canada, their achievement has been scarcely addressed in broader contexts. Not yet ten years into his fifty-year career, and barely thirty years old, Bright Red #2 and Titanium White #6 assert Martin’s artistic identity. Popular criticism associated the paintings with gestural Abstract Expressionism or body art, and overlooked Martin’s self-imposed limits of colour, process, and size that activate and demand the agency of the viewer’s psyche and soma. Here, Martin’s personal phenomenology aligns his work with contemporary Postminimal artists such as Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, David Rabinowitch, and Richard Serra. Indicative of his artistic ethic, Martin destroyed six of the twenty-four Bright Red paintings from 1972 because of dissatisfaction. Six of the remaining eighteen are in Canadian public collections, and five of the ten documented Titanium White paintings from 1973 and 1974 are in public collections. – Greg Humenick Gregory Humeniuk is the author of “Ron Martin: The Material and The Conceptual” (2004), Ron Martin: Conclusions and Transfers / Conclusions and Transpositions (2018), and is preparing a monograph on the artist.