Karel Martens

1939 · United States

Artist biography

Karel Martens is an established contemporary artist, who was born in the United States. Karel Martens was born in 1939. Also born in the United States around 1939 and of the same generation are Ray Harryhausen, Gene Davis, Diane Arbus, Ellsworth Kelly and Roy Lichenstein.


Karel Martens most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam in the Netherlands with the exhibition Karel Martens in dialogue with Bruno Munari. The exhibition was open from 27 November 2019 until 10 January 2020. Karel Martens' other most recent exhibitions recorded on Artland include the exhibitions; TEAM THURSDAY (25 September 2019 - 17 October 2019) at Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Parallax (05 April 2019 - 10 May 2019) at Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Karel Martens' first recorded exhibition in Artland's database was called Colours on the Beach and took place at Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam in the Netherlands from the 21 April 2018 to 17 June 2018.

Historical Context of United States

The United States, particularly New York city, remains as a focal point that has played a significant role in developing modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century. The idea of New York as a new multinational and highly powerful art hub emerged in the post war era, and the city succeeded in asserting its supremacy over Paris, which used to be regarded as the most powerful international art capital. The authority of the political and economic structures of the United States in the modern sphere has granted the country with a prevailing influence on the visual culture of the world. Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, are influential art movements that flourished in the US. These very movements also reverberated into a myriad of variations, such as diverse forms of Abstract Expressionism, as well as East and West Coast variants of Pop Art, among others. Some internationally distinguished U.S artists of the modern age include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Further Biographical Context for Karel Martens

Born in 1939, Karel Martens was primarily inspired by the 1950s. It can be said that the 1950s were dominated by Abstract Expressionism, a form of painting that prioritised expressive brushstrokes and explored ideas about organic nature, spirituality and the sublime. Much of the focus was on the formal techniques of painting, and ideas of action painting were conflated with the political freedom of the United States society as opposed to the strict nature of the Soviet bloc. Key artists of the Abstract Expressionist Generation included Jackson Pollock (who innovated his famed drip, splatter and pour painting techniques), Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Frank Kline, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still and Adolph Gottlieb. It was a male dominated environment, but necessary reassessment of this period has highlighted the contributions of female artists such as Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others.

Karel Martens

  • Exhibitions 5

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