blossoming in upper kirby

Acclaimed Aspen art gallery blooms with new Upper Kirby studio

Acclaimed Aspen art gallery blooms with new Upper Kirby studio

Christopher Martin Gallery Houston
The Aspen gallery is opening in Upper Kirby. Photo by Tatum Dodd
Christopher Martin
Christopher Martin boasts myriad Houston fans. Photo by Hannah Hurt
Christopher Martin Gallery Houston
Christopher Martin

Houstonians who frequently travel to Aspen, Colorado will no doubt be familiar with Christopher Martin. The celebrated painter and gallerist boasts a popular presence in Aspen and Dallas’s Design District with his eponymous Christopher Martin galleries.

Now, the painter known for organic, abstract paintings is bringing his vision to Houston with a new Christopher Martin Gallery, which will preview to the public on Saturday, January 22 from 4 until 8 pm at 2625 Colquitt St. in Upper Kirby’s acclaimed Gallery Row.

An opening exhibit titled “Expanding Horizons” will christen the 2,000-square-foot Houston space. This show will juxtapose a selection of Martin’s abstracts with a collection of Western-themed photography by Dallas artist Steve Wrubel, per an announcement. Wrubel uses advanced techniques to create kinetic snapshots of horses and bull riders that have been edited to place his subjects in exaggerated natural landscapes, specifically to direct attention to the American West and its rugged nature.

At the end of “Horizons” in mid-February,  the gallery will host a series of solo shows that will rotate every six weeks. Spotlighted artists include Amber Goldhammer, Melissa Herrington, Ian Kimmerly, Monica Perez, and Isabelle Van Zeijl.

Houston mainstay artists include Martin, Paul Bloch, Kinga Czerska, Ysabel LeMay, Jeff Muhs, David Middlebrook, and Wrubel.

Martin, who established his first studio in Dallas in 1995, is best known for pieces created through the practice of verre églomisé — or gilded glass. The reverse painting process involves Martin painting directly onto the backplane of Lucite. That means he must work in reverse, starting first with the foreground before layering upward — the end result achieves a level of depth and luminosity unattainable with traditional canvas alone, his bio notes.

He established galleries in Aspen (2010 to present), Santa Fe (2015 to 2018), New York City (2018 to 2019), and Vail (2021 to present).

Following his current spaces, the Houston location will focus on the works of mid-career artists — abstract painters, photographers and sculptors — with a minimum of 10 years of experience, dedicated studio practices, and the ability to produce site-specific projects, according to a release.

“In addition to being home to a large portion of our private collectors, Houston is a dynamic and scene-setting art community — one that we have wanted to be a more integral part of for some time now,” said Martin in a statement. “When this prime Upper Kirby District Gallery Row space became available last year, we knew we had to jump on it immediately. And we can’t wait to introduce Houstonians to the impactful offerings of our carefully curated roster of artists.”

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Christopher Martin Gallery Houston; 2625 Colquitt St.; hours are 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday. For information, visit www.christophermartingallery.com or call 800-757-6035.