Mary Tutwiler

Eugene Martin show opens at ArtWalk

by Mary Tutwiler

Artist Eugene Martin called himself a satirical abstractist. With a body of work that defies classification, that may be the closest anyone will get to categorizing his drawings and paintings. Mechanical parts, biological elements, sharp black and white contrast, swirling and tender color — Martin drew from his inner life before coming up with what is often a punch line to title his canvases. The Washington, D.C., born artist studied at the prestigious Corcoran School of Art, but his formal training didn’t take root. He is more self-taught and soul-influenced, and his references are obscurely his own. But that doesn’t mean his work is difficult to appreciate. Drawings speak to the doodler in us all, and his color work comes from a universal joy of bright life in motion.

Martin moved to Lafayette in 1996 with his wife, a biologist, who teaches at UL. He suffered a stroke in 2001 but continued to work until his death in 2005, at the age of 77. In Black and White, a show of his drawings, opens Saturday at 5:30 p.m. during ArtWalk at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. For more information, go to the Arts Council Web site or call 233-7060.