Lizzy Martinez
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 to Sunday, July 31, 2022

Lizzy Martinez utilizes the figure to engage social advocacy, butting against the perceptions of time and art history focusing on women’s experiences, guiding them towards unconventional protagonists.  Martinez has exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Springfield Museum of Art, Danforth Museum of Art, and the Figge Art Museum.  She has shown in both the United States and Ireland and is a two-time St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Awardee, a VCCA Fellow, and a recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Award for outstanding work in painting as well as funding from Cerf+, The Andy Warhol Foundation, and The West Collection located in Philadelphia.  Martinez has participated in residencies through the support of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Crosstown Arts, Paul Artspace, and Soaring Gardens Retreat. She teaches drawing and painting at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Using her voice to shine a light on important issues, Martinez has planned exhibitions and art events around topics such as domestic violence, gun control, extreme climate change, endangered species protection, and human trafficking.  Her practice expresses complex and difficult ideas that struggle to find adequate attention.

  

Artist Statement

Lizzy Martinez utilizes the figure to engage social advocacy, butting against the perceptions of time and art history focusing on women’s experiences usually guiding them towards unconventional protagonists. Martinez’s figures often find themselves in volatile environments with aspects of a stretched reality permeating with symbols.  A sense of place may develop through the found agriculture, architecture, and animal or insect species of the region.  Within these dramatized natural and historical scenes lurk totems and pookas which allude to the artist’s feminist and Latinx social concerns.  Animals may serve as another player in the scene or become the viewer’s proxy into these worlds.  Martinez’s adverse environments pervade these narratives with an array of elevated moods playing up the theatrical biological specimens. Her bodies are celebratory and appreciated even when in peril.  This reflects Martinez's deep curiosity towards flesh, muscle, bone, and fur.  The artist hopes to inspire audiences with seeing bodies without a negative outlook rather towards awe and respect.  The unsettling and the alluring merge and draw attention as they expand upon ideas past conventional bounds.  Martinez challenges traditions and seeks to subvert outdated programming around women’s relationships to their forms, mobility, sexuality, right to safety, and use of voice.