Gabriel Martinez: Desire Lines

Anya Tish Gallery is pleased to present Desire Lines, the gallery’s inaugural exhibition of Houston-based artist Gabriel Martinez. Drawing on the history of both quilting and painting, the exhibition features hand-stitched fabric paintings created from clothing found in the streets of Houston on the artist’s travels throughout the city. Martinez employs the concept of the trace to explore spaces created for the body (garments, neighborhoods, factories, quilts) and the ways bodies, in turn, affect and mark those spaces. The works in Desire Lines situate the artist as one body among many involved in the manipulation of the material. The paintings record the traces of global capital, evoking those who dyed and printed the fabric, those who assembled the garments, the people who wore and lost them, as well as the artist who places them back into circulation as luxury objects. They are an invitation for the viewer to consider not only their formal composition and the laborious nature of their production but also the disjunctive economies that enable such value shifts.
Visitors to the gallery can contribute to the creation of Cumulus, a large-scale wall drawing, by collecting the names of countries listed on their garments.
Desire Lines will mark the debut of Channel, Martinez’s sprawling floor piece for which he was awarded a Support for Artist and Creative Individuals Grant made in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.



About the artist: 

Born in Alamogordo, New Mexico, Gabriel Martinez is an artist and performer living and working in Houston. He graduated with a BFA from Corcoran College of Art and Design, an MFA from Columbia University, and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program before moving to Houston as a Museum of Fine Arts Core Fellow and artist-in-residence at Project Row Houses. In Houston, his work has been exhibited in institutions, such as: the Blaffer Art Museum, Artpace, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, The Holocaust Museum Houston, Rice University Media Center, and the Station Museum. He has been awarded numerous grants, such as: Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, the Houston Arts Alliance Support for Artists and Creative Individuals, and the Meredith J. Long Core Program Award. He received a Rauschenberg Foundation SEED Grant for Alabama Song, the experimental arts space that he founded in 2012. Additionally, Martinez has participated in artist residencies around the globe, such as: Como, Italy; Damascus, Syria; Skowhegan, Maine; Chicago, Illinois; Omaha, Nebraska; San Antonio, Texas.