June Kelly Gallery

Charles Martin Bio

 The June Kelly Gallery opens its 2022-23 season with Metropolis, the gallery’s eighth exhibition of photography by Charles Martin – views that articulate chance bracketing of architectural form, scale, and milieu, will open at 166 Mercer Street, on Thursday, September 8.  The work will remain on view through October 18.

Photographer Charles Martin, also filmmaker and writer, says, Metropolis is drawn from such cities as New York, São Paulo, Paris and Montréal, the emphasis is a general sense rather than an explicit essay about any particular one.  Daylight, twilight, and electricity luminously shape and paint the cities.  Expanses, constructed or patches of nature, are equally urban, and in evidence at ground level and from high perches.

Martin says, the views in Metropolis, as in Ferryboat, an earlier exhibition, are less a document than an evocation, an essay, a “think piece” about city, but not enclosed by it, and fascinated by many elements.  “Multiple activity, sometimes subterranean, identifies cities and the people who reside and work in them.

Nevertheless, writes Martin, the touchstone kernel and outstanding sign of Metropolis, visually, is the blend or interruption of architectural form and scale set comfortably or awkwardly in nature, if only under the sky or amid a body of water (Edifice Canyon, 2022).  Structures, worn or new, seen directly or in reflection are, like drawings or sculpture, lines and shapes aligned and shuffled, brought together, and sighted by eyes and lenses to be affixed, sometimes, in film, in pixels or memory.  In the lyrics of the song, “Concrete Jungle,” Bob Marley wonders what the city has “got for me now?”  In the photos of Metropolis, forms of vision are a thing that the city has got. Henri Cartier-Bresson often referred to geometry, so evident in his photos, as essential to visual art. People delight in such form.

While Martin says his photographs are usually unplanned and carried out quickly, the sense of instantaneous and deep connection with subject is apparent.  His strong perceptiveness results in distinctive photographic accounts.  Martin’s vision and ingenious process, rich in narrative potential, mysterious and intuitive are grounded in the everyday reality of the subject.

Occasionally, writes Martin, a dream or a nightmare is concocted from concrete, glass, metal, water, sky, and light.  Alfred Stieglitz, photographer, and advocate of art was famously appalled at the idea that the power of his photography came from its subject matter.  Stieglitz wanted to show that photography could be abstract and more or less free of reference.  Reformulated, the thought might be that sight, itself, can ultimately be the primary subject. (Triplex, 2022)

Martin lives and works in New York.  He is a graduate of Yale University, where he received a master’s degree and a doctorate in Spanish and Portuguese.  He studied photography at the Yale School of Art with Thomas Roma and JoAnn Walters.  Martin’s photographs have been shown in numerous one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States, in Europe and in South America.  His work is included in many private and public collections, among them The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of the City of New York, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, and the Walter Heun Collection.


Born Yeadon, Pennsylvania
Lives and works in New York City

Yale University, New Haven, CT
1988 Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese
1986 M. Phil., Spanish & Portuguese
1985 MA, Spanish and Portuguese
1982-84 Graduate Study in Afro-American Studies and photography classes in the School of
  Art with Thomas Roma and JoAnn Walters
1974 BA, English

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2022 Metropolis: Photography, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2020 Papo, Café e Galeria, Av Bosque da Saude, 551 Sao Paulo, Brazil
2019 Affinity with Brazil: 1982-Present, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2016 Storied People: Photography, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Reflections/Connections, Associacao Brasilseira de Arte Fotografica, Rio de Janerio,
2014 Reflections/Connections, Ima Foto Galeria, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2014-2013 Because of Algiers, Festival of Contemporary Art, Musee Public National d’Art Moderne
  et Contemporain d’ Alger,Algeria (MAMA); catalogue
2012 Manhattan, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2010 Algiers: Charles Martin & Jean-Pierre Hautecoeur, The International Center, New York
2009 Civil Search: Charles Martin, photographs and Dick Griffin, paintings, The International
  Center, New York
2008 Also Brazil, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2005 Motion, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Yin Mei Dance, Dance Theatre Workshop, New York
2004 Ferryboat, Amarillo College, TX
2003 Ferryboat, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Making Carnival, Tamarkin, New York
Making Carnival, Newhouse Center, Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY
2002 Myth and Reality: Masques & Portraits, Galerie Lulu Lyon, Paris
Charles Martin & LeRoy Henderson Photographs, HBO Executive Offices Gallery, New
2001 Masquerades, IRADAC, City College of New York
2000 Reflections and Motion, Yeadon, Pennsylvania Public Library
Ferryboat, Alice Austen House Museum, Staten Island, NY
Ferryboat, Modernage, New York
Spaces, Tamarkin, New York
1999 Reflections, June Kelly Gallery, New York
1998 Photographing the Diaspora, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Home & Away (Eastern Parkway Carnival, Brooklyn and Brazil) Queens College,
  Flushing, NY; catalogue
1997 New York Cityscapes, Access Gallery, Staten Island, NY
Flavors of Brazil, Charles Martin & Fernando Natalici, Arts of Brazil Gallery, New York
Brazil, School of New Resources, Gordon Parks Gallery, College of New Rochelle,
  Bronx, NY
1996 Brazil, Paris, New York, Abrons Arts Center, Henry Street Settlement, New York
Made in Brazil
, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI; traveling exhibition
Made in Brazil, Access Gallery, Staten Island Community Television, NY
1995 Brazil, Paris, New York, Cinque Gallery, New York
1993 Portraits et Vues, Odéon Photo-Vidéo, Paris, France
Portraits Noirs Américains, Musée de la Halle St. Pierre, Paris
1992 Isolation, Grandview Gallery, West Virginia University, Mountainlair, Morgantown,
Fotografias, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil
1991 Portraits and Places, Creative Arts Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
1990 Portrayals, 4th Street Photo Gallery, New York
1989 Portrayals, Edward Williams College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack, NJ
Portrayals, WBGO Radio Station, Newark, NJ
Brooklyn to Brazil, Corner Gallery, World Trade Center, New York
Passage, Yale University, New Haven, CT
1988 Photographs, En Foco, Inc., Bronx, NY
1987 Optical Thinking, Maples Gallery and Weiner Library, Fairleigh Dickinson University,
  Teaneck, NJ
1986 Optical Thinking, Afro-American Cultural Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT;
  traveling exhibition
1983 African Eyes/Brazil, Charles Martin and Jesse A. Rhines, Afro-American Cultural
  Center and Cross Campus Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT, Fall/Winter

Selected Group Exhibitions
2020 Visions 2020, Wilmer Jennings Gallery, curated by Beuford Smith, a member and past
  president of the Kamoinge Workshop, and as cofounder of the Black Photographer’s
  Annual, Kenekeleba House, New York
2017-18 Celebrating 30 Years, Gallery Artists: Drawings and Photographs, June Kelly Gallery, New
2013 Spectacles: 4 Olhos-4 Visions, photographs by Charles Martin, Eduardo Castanho,
  Fernando Natalici and Antonio Oliveira, New York Public Library and Mulenberg
2011 African Transitions: Reflections and Change 1980-2010, Bronx Community College, NY
2nd Pan African Cultural Festival of Algiers, Algeria, University System of the District of
  Columbia 4, Washington, DC
2010 2nd Pan African Cultural Festival of Algiers, Algeria, Institute of African American
  Affairs at New York University,
2009-2010 Picturing New York: Photographs from the Museum of Modern Art, curated by Sarah
  Meister, Associate Curator in the Department of Photography; traveled to the Irish
  Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Fundació la Caixa, Barcelona; and Museo di arte
  moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto; Italy; catalogue
2008 New York City: In Focus, Bellevue Hospital Center Atrium, New York
2007 Celebration: Nine Artists Commemorate the 35th Anniversary of Winston-Salem Delta Fine
, Winston-Salem, NC; brochure
2005 Tsunami Relief, ABC no Rio & Carriage House, New York
2002 Life of the City, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2001 Made in Woodstock, Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY
Committed To The Image: Contemporary Black Photographers, organized by the Brooklyn
  Museum of Art, NY; catalogue
2000 Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, Smithsonian Institution and
  Anacostia Museum, Washington, DC; catalogue, traveling exhibition
1998 Benefit Show, Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY
The Wedding Show, Leica Gallery, New York
Dream City, slide projections for dance-theater by Shu-Wing Tang, Victor Ma and
  Mandy Yim, Fringe Studio, Hong Kong and Pace University, presented by Yangtze
  Repertory Theatre of America, New York
1996 Shots: Members Exhibition, Afterimage Gallery, Dallas, TX
Reframing Tradition, juried by Susan Kismaric, Museum of Modern Art and
  Tod Papageorge, Yale School of Art, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT
Place, Marymount Manhattan College Gallery, New York
1995 Made in Brazil, Charles Martin and Fernando Natalici, Aba Gallery, New York
Summer Exhibit, Leica Gallery, New York
New York Artists at AAMARP, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Travelscapes, Multi Media Arts Gallery, New York
1994 Black Beauty, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York
Known, 4W Circle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
New York Scenes, Multi Media Arts Gallery, New York
1990 New York Time Capsule: Joseph Caputo, Steve Hart and Charles Martin,
  Multi Media Arts Gallery, New York
1988 Kizomba, Segundo Encontro Internacional de Arte Negra, Universidade do Estado do
  Rio de Janeiro, (Second International Congress of Black Art, University of the State of
  Rio), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1985 Building Wrap, Invitational Artists’ Exhibition, New Haven Environmental Art Works,

Public Collections
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum of the City of New York
Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY
The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
KeySpan (Brooklyn Union Gas), NY
Pfizer Incorporated, New York
Mott-Warsh Art Collection, Flint MI
Walter Heun Collection (Leica Camera Inc., administrators), New York
Marriott Hotel

2014 Reflections/Connections, Queensborough Community College Art Gallery, City
  University of New York, approximately 40 photographs. Produced by Hybrid Media
  Project, design by Fernando Natalici, bi-lingual texts in English and Portuguese by
  Luiz Paulo Lima; curator Marina Lins and Charles Martin, soft cover, landscape
2013 Because of Algiers, Queensborough Community College Art Gallery—City University of
  New York. Approximately 100 photographs. Produced by Hybrid Media Project in
  association with W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University; and Office of Dean of
  Arts & Humanities, Queens College—City University of New York. Design by Marvin
  Hoshino. Tri-lingual: texts in English, French and Arabic by Khalida Toumi, Minister
  of Culture, Algiers; Mohammed Djehiche, Director of Museum of Modern Art, Algiers;
  and Charles Martin. Translations by American Embassy, Algiers; and Mohamed
  Badr. Cultural advising: Yasmin Nooreddin. Soft cover, landscape format, 9x11.5
  inches. ISBN 978-1-936658-18-3

Digital Films
2019 Charles Martin, ADAA Instagram, Sarah Evers, Digital Communication Coordinator
  Video-courtesy of O’Delle Abney, videography
ADAA (Art Dealers Association of America) Instagram video interview for “Affinity
  with Brazil”
2015 Playing New York, direction, co-production, co-camera, editing, stills (documentary, 75’
  run time)
2011 Apple Pie, direction, production, co-shooting, editing (music video, approx. 4’run time
Warren Smith: Percussionist and Archivist, production, direction, shooting and editing
  (documentary, 23’ run time)
2010 Get It Poppin, direction, co-production, editing (music video, approx 4’run time
2008-2009 Tai Chi, production, direction, co-shooting and editing, (documentary in post
2008 Masking, production, direction, shooting and stills photography (documentary, 9’ 21”
  run time)
The Hewitt Art Collection, direction, produced by C2 Creative Bank and Bank of
  America (documentary, 14’45” run time)
Continuous Incident: Lisa Mackie at June Kelly Gallery, production, direction, shooting,
  editing (documentary 7’46” run time)
2007 Hats by Bunn: An Extraordinary Milliner in Harlem, documentary, production, direction
  and editing
2006 Ed Clark: A Brush with Success, direction, still photography (documentary 29” 20” run
2001 Japanese Cowgirl Sings – Dorothy Cowfield and the Barnyard petting Zoo in concert at
  Fez, NY; direction, co-camera, editing (music performance, approx. 20’ run time)
Making/Asunder – Yin mei Dance at St. Mark’s on the Bowery. Direction, production,
  camera, editing (documentary, 26” run time)
Musician Pheeroan akLaff – Friends & Peers, direction, editing (documentary, approx.
  26’ run time)

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