"Inevitably making sense"
Catalogue Essay by Ian White

This text is derived from a set of questions and answers between the author and the artist, that constituted a live performance at Maria Stenfors Gallery, London on 12th November 2010, during In No Particular Order’s exhibition there. Ten questions and more answers were written separately in advance by the author and the artist respectively, neither knowing what the other’s were. The questions derived from a series of intense studio visits and private conversations between the two during the development of the work. The answers take the form of carefully selected quotations from a diverse range of sources that variously (pre)occupy the artist. During the performance questions and answers were drawn at random, one pair at a time, in the order that they appear below. Their conjunction was pure chance (or something else), emulating or enacting structural and interpretive characteristics of the work exhibited, representing the kind of communication that might occur within a friendship.

Continue reading: Catalogue Essay: "Inevitably Making Sense" by Ian White


"You Go, I Come"
Catalogue text by Lia Gangitano
Bohusläns Museum - 2002

You Go, I Come, an installation of paintings by Martin Gustavsson, comprises a transitional space between abstraction and figuration, signifying absence. This absence is rendered materially, spatially, and psychologically, and borrows from the cinematic frame to heighten the narrative significance of one’s chosen departure.

Continue reading: You Go, I Come. Catalogue text by Lia Gangitano. Bohusläns Museum. 2002


"The Gospel"
Catalogue essay by Martin Gustavsson - 2003

When Mary Magdalen goes to visit Jesus’ grave she is grief stricken. Not only has she lost her spiritual guide but also the man she loves. She finds the tomb empty and on her way out she meets the man she saw die only days before. She reaches out to touch him, as to prove the miracle but also an act of intense longing. This is when Jesus says ‘Nolle Me Tangere’ or ‘Don’t touch me’. This scene became a famous genre in painting and has been depicted over and over again during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Continue reading: The Gospel. Catalogue essay by Martin Gustavsson. 2003


"Repetition and Absence: The Paintings of Martin Gustavsson"
Catalogue essay by Peggy Phelan - 2000

T.S. Eliot remarked that only people who have personalities know what it is to want to escape them. Martin Gustavsson’s wonderful painting Somebody Else’s Head, reminds me of that wish and of the difficulty of making it come true. Even when I am wishing I could escape my own head, I realize (with acute horror) that all my fantasies of another person’s head are like arrows bouncing off my mind’s own mirror. By virtue of authoring my wish to escape, I condemn myself to exile within the architecture of my own imagining.

Continue reading: Repetition and Absence: The Paintings of Martin Gustavsson. Catalogue essay by Peggy Phelan. 2000