Per Mårtensson is an observer, he sees and registers surfaces, shapes and shifts in our surroundings that most of us would just pass by. What has always intrigued me about his paintings is the way he translates this and describes paint and surfaces, shifts and reflections, behind and in front of the physical surfaces of the paintings.
For his solo show Kabinett at the gallery Mårtensson has created a series of diptychs with the title Escalator, where he transforms a multiple diptych, the one of the steps in an subway/department store or airport escalator, into serial diptychs. The presentation gains movement from the multiple paintings presented in the space, the glares and reflections in the underlying steel surfaces, and the sense of speed in the way the paint is applied onto the surfaces. The motif is turned 90 degrees from its reference the actual escalator. It´s a strategy I always have appreciated with Mårtensson, he forces us as viewers to turn or heads and sharpen our vision to gain orientation in the room and on the surfaces of his paintings.
The second series Flipper, are triangular surfaces with a green/yellow glow. They spread over the walls of the gallery, watched from several angles and vantage points. Again Mårtensson ask us to look at individual paintings that operate in a language of painting, where a multiple experience gives new reference for the individual painting.
Light is a friend of paint, in the third series of work in the exhibition Player, Mårtensson brings in a series of oval shapes from the street outside, into the gallery space. Black and white canvases, with variations of the same shape, again the serial repetition forces us to go back and forth along the series of canvases in order to see the nuances in the work. Matt surfaces that eat rather than reflect the light in the room, the opposite of the two other series. The placement of the works in the space makes us look up and at the same time see the street light outside, bringing the gallerys basement location inte play.