Martin Basher, Suddenly Still Life, 2022
Aluminium, stainless steel, epoxy paint. 2700 x 900 x 800mm each.
A witness to the pandemic at its most harrowing, when it first swept through New York City in the winter of 2020, New Zealand-born artist Martin Basher was prompted to search out visually immediate forms, which would, in his words, “dance with the natural, while holding nature at a remove.”
Suddenly Still Life is the outcome of this, building on the artist’s exploration of the floral still-life. The botanical forms that have proven a well-spring of motifs, associations and compositional elements for Basher’s painting practice are approached through the rubric of three-dimensional space – an aspect new but apparently natural to the artist.
Like his paintings, these bouquets are angular and sparse. The sculptures are water-jet cut and designed in low-relief so that they almost disappear when approached from the side. This contrasts enigmatically with the layeredness of the works viewed from in front or behind and is a striking effect in works that stand at 3m tall but which so quickly evaporate from view.