JORGE MARTINEZ GARCIA at UBC and Liverpool's The Bluecoat to Mark the 2009 Malcolm Lowry Centenary
The year 2009 marked the 100th anniversary of Malcolm Lowry's birth in Liverpool, England, with major scholarly and artistic events organized around this centenary. One of them was a mega-conference at the University of British Columbia (in collaboration with Vancouver Island University), at which a slide show of all of Jorge Martínez' prints from his Lowry/Under the Volcano series were projected as part of the opening of the conference. Following the UBC Conference was a multi-disciplinary extravaganza at a public arts centre called the Bluecoat, in Liverpool (The European Union's City of Culture for 2008). Craig Scott Gallery worked with the Bluecoat to provide eight Martínez works for the exhibition, all of which can accessed by clicking on the images to the left: Under the Volcano (ed of 22, 50x70 cm.), Wheel - Law - Machine - System, (ed of 44, 60 x 60 cm), Mezcal Spirits (ed of 22, 23 x 25 cm), Triptych: Mezcal (ed of 22, 40 x 25 cm), Triptych: The Commisaries (ed of 22, 40 x 25 cm), Triptych: The Volcano (ed of 22, 40 x 40 cm), Abyss: The Ravine (ed of 22, 24.7 x 33.7), and The Unassimilable Inn (ed of 22, 20 x 30 cm). These works had originally been exhibited at a 2007 solo exhibition at Craig Scott Gallery called "Under the Volcano and Other Works: Graphic Interpretations of the Writings of Malcolm Lowry."
The "Malcolm Lowry Centenary at the Bluecoat" ran from September 25 to November 22. Seven of the Martínez works appear in a book published by Liverpool University Press: Bryan Biggs and Helen Tookey, eds., Malcolm Lowry: From the Mersey to the World (Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 2009) pp 138-141 (images of Under the Volcano, Wheel - Law - Machine - System, Mezcal Spirits, and Triptych: Mezcal / Triptych: The Commisaries / Triptych: The Volcano; p. 158 (Note on Contributor).
Below is an overview used by both the UBC conference and the Liverpool/Bluecoat event:
Neo-Baroque printmaker and painter Jorge Martínez García works from his home city of Valparaíso, Chile, where he is also Professor of Drawing and Painting at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Martínez was schooled as an artist in Ecuador from 1985 to 1991 where he also received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador in Quito. Martínez has had 19 solo exhibitions in Chile, Ecuador, Germany, Argentina, and Canada and has participated in over 40 group shows around the world as well as numerous biennales and international cultural shows. His works are held by museums and major public collections in many countries, including Japan, Switzerland, England, the USA, Cuba, Brazil and France, as well in numerous private collections. The Bibliothèque nationale de France acquired five of his intaglio prints in 2005.
It was in Quito where Martínez first read Lowry's Under the Volcano. Since that time, Martínez has read and re-read all of Lowry's writings. Inspired by Lowry's famous letter to his editor at Jonathan Cape, in which he opined there were at least five levels at which Under the Volcano could be read, Martínez' artistic interactions with Lowry's body of work have themselves been diverse and layered. Lowry has always been a point of reference for Martínez' intaglio prints and paintings (even beyond those Martínez works that specifically interpret Lowry). For Martínez, Lowry has provided motivation for reflection on Latin American realities in terms of "our existence as culture and 'cosmovision.'" Martínez believes that, along with B.Traven and D.H. Lawrence, Lowry is the best example of the outsider who is able to perceive other worlds with a universal sensibility that is at once perspicacious and profound.
Jorge Martínez García is represented by Craig Scott Gallery, where his most recent solo show (Fall 2007) was "Under the Volcano and Other Works: Interpreting the Writings of Malcolm Lowry." In the works from the "Under the Volcano and Other Works" series, Martínez seeks to illuminate or, even more metaphorically, circumnavigate the "heraldic universe" (Lawrence Durrell) of Lowry, according to Martínez' own life experience and his own existential reading of Lowry's writings.