Eugene James Martin

Eugene James Martin, Chef and the Kid, 1994. Image and original data provided by Suzanne Fredericq, © 2008 Estate of Eugene James Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Suzanne Fredericq, the widow of African American artist Eugene James Martin has contributed approximately 200 images of his work to the Artstor Digital Library. Martin's vibrant abstract works include paintings on canvas, mixed media collages, and pencil, pen, and ink drawings.

Throughout Martin's oeuvre, organic forms and geometric shapes alternate with pure abstraction. His use of color is distinctive, contrasting broad swathes of intense color with finely worked areas of pastel shades. Martin also mixed whimsical allusions to animals and machines with wry cultural and personal references, creating introspective works infused with a gentle humor.

Fredericq expressed her enthusiasm for sharing images of Martin's work in Artstor: "What always impresses me when looking at a multitude of art images side-by-side in Artstor is that, by selecting a particular artist or a range of artists within a particular time period, one can better evaluate the ... evolution of an artist's career in the context of the period... Because Eugene James Martin has shown such a broad-ranging and distinct evolution ... the incorporation of images of his art in Artstor is an excellent teaching and research vehicle to illustrate and assess the major artistic tendencies and influences that have taken place in modern and contemporary visual art."

Eugene James Martin (1938-2005) was born in Washington, DC, where he spent most of his life, and trained at the Corcoran School of Art. He spent his later years in Lafayette, Louisiana. His works can be found in many private and public collections, including the Munich Museum of Modern Art, the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Mobile Museum of Art, the Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art at the University of Delaware, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, the Stowitts Museum and Library, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Louisiana State University Museum of Art.