“We have the right to be undefined, to not choose, and to stay open to everything," writes Martin Etem. "This is the beauty of superposition—it is dynamic."
form & concept is proud to introduce the work of multidisciplinary artist Martin Alexander Spratlen Etem for his inaugural showing at form & concept. The California-based artist’s solo show The Sculpted Image: Landscapes 2019–2021 opens June 25, and features never-before-seen sculpture and photography work made in 2021 alongside selections from the artist’s 2019 and 2020 series juxtaposing contemporary imagery beside classical Roman statues, landmarks and architecture. Through Etem’s work, which pulls imagery from public and communal spaces, and the artist’s personal travels, gallery visitors find themselves caught between the known and unknown.
Martin Alexander Spratlen Etem, born 1987 in Long Beach, CA, is a multidisciplinary artist using drawing, painting, sculpture and photography to survey modern society’s ideologies and sociology. Influenced by past experiences and imagination, Etem recontextualizes art history to create a visual language that embodies both a world view and personal narrative by calling attention to race, gender, hierarchies, value, and beauty. The work’s structure invites the viewer into different portals or realms of experience and narrative where images collide and communicate ideas of aesthetic and conceptual complexity. Etem received his MFA from University of East London in 2013. Since then, his work has been shown in several solo and group shows in galleries and arts centers across the US, including Long Beach Museum of Art, CA; LGBT Center and Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, CA; Outono Projects, Harlem, NY; Irvine Fine Arts Center, CA; and Art in Embassies, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In 2020, Etem was awarded the Long Beach Art Council Working Artist Fellowship and was a Black Artist Fund Branch Grant Awardee.