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Isabel M. Martínez

All Things Begin in the Dark

January 9 - February 8, 2020


Empty Gallery is pleased to present 'All Things Begin in the Dark', a solo exhibition of work by Isabel M. Martínez.

This exhibition consists of eight photographic prints selected from two series of interrelated works. The images are created by physically manipulating 4 x 5 colour negative sheet film using a variety of experimental processes, free from digital manipulation. The patterns of colour that form the "background" of the image are actually the result of altered chemistry, punctuated by geometric and organic forms drawn with light. This somewhat mystifying process is made even more opaque by the steady decline of analogue photography in favour of digital methods. The inability of the average viewer to fully deduce the origin of the image is, however, considered a strength of the work. What exactly are you looking at? What is the nature of photography? In some sense, like any photograph, these are representations of light fixed in chemistry; but unlike traditional photography, the hand of the artist and the element of chance are much more prevalent here, introducing an almost painterly quality to an otherwise static medium.

‘All Things Begin in the Dark’ runs from January 9 to February 8, 2020. Visit the gallery during regular hours or by appointment.

Isabel M. Martínez spent her formative years in Santiago de Chile. Her work deals with the aspect of experience where the real, the known, and the imagined blend. Perception is a recurring theme within her practice.She has exhibited internationally in solo and curated group shows in galleries, art centres, festivals, and biennials in Canada, the UK, the USA, Chile, France, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, and The Netherlands. Notable exhibitions include the Museo Nacional de la Fotografia (Bogotá), Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (Tenerife), Theoretische Kunstprojecte (The Hague) and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. Upcoming shows will take place at Angell Gallery (Toronto) and Proyectos Solís Arte Contemporáneo (Madrid).


Martínez holds a BFA from Universidad Católica de Chile and an MFA from the University of Guelph. She is based in Toronto.

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