Galerie Alexis Pentcheff in Marseille and Galerie Maket in Paris host Intimité et Horizons, which brings together a number of the artist’s still-lifes and scenes of his native France as well as depictions of locations from the former Yugoslavia to Venice and the US.
Martin-Ferrières was prolific. In this show alone more than 120 paintings and 60 gouaches are spread between the two galleries, while others frequently crop up on the open market.
Man of many layers
Born to the well-known Pointillist painter Henri Martin (1845-1924) in Saint-Paul, Martin-Ferrières trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but began to stray from the academy’s conventions and became known for his thick application of paint in multiple layers.
He also shied away from artistic fashions and the Modernist movements of the day, which, according to the gallery, he considered ‘vulgar and ephemeral’.
Instead he worked in his own, rather conservative style, sometimes incorporating his father’s Pointillist technique.
Eventually he became a regular exhibitor at the Salon des Artistes Français and he was the recipient of several awards, including a travel scholarship in 1924 and a gold medal in 1928.
The show is divided into several parts. The first includes still-lifes and early Parisian views then covers his early trips including scenes of Italy. Finally, it celebrates the acceptance of his works at the Salon and various galleries.
In this last category several of his major journeys are documented, including those to Greece and Spain.
Typical throughout his works is the inclusion of figural groups within specific settings, such as shoppers at marketplaces, men chatting in the harbour at Collioure, or a crowd of women in Yugoslavian dress.
Though several of his auction highs came in the late 1980s, some of his works have found major success more recently. Vase de fleurs made a record for the artist at a Sotheby’s sale in 2007, while another high price was achieved with La maison d’Henri Martib à Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (1918) at Bonhams in 2017 (source: Artprice by Artmarket).
In the upcoming pair of French shows prices range from €1000 to €20,000.
They run from November 26 to December 23, starting online, where works will appear on the gallery website and social media.
The exhibitions are due to continue virtually and open physically when the new French lockdown ends, currently slated for the end of the month.