Edited, designed and produced by
and published in 2008 by Isis Editions
Essays by Dominique Nahas and
Roger P. Thomas
Hardback, 64 pages, 29 illustrations
in colour and b/w
22.2 x 17.1 cm
'In addition to prolific stints as an illustrator and tattoo artist, native New Yorker Ruth Marten has been exhibiting her art in galleries for decades. For her latest body of work Marten's embellished recombinants of 17th- and 18th-century engravings seamlessly weave radical alterations, subtle visual humour and ecstatic fantasy into delirious social landscapes.'
– Paper magazine, New York
'Erotic effervesence.' – Dominique Nahas
Catalogue published in an edition of 500 signed and numbered copies, featuring watercolour detail hand-tipped by the artist, to accompany the exhibition at the Isis Gallery, London.
Ruth Marten's drawings occupy and enact upon the historical spaces of vintage prints by détourning them with the precision of the tattoo artist. Delicate, controlled and highly illusionistic, they utilise the trope of the visual malaprop to create an imaginary third space in which surreal and subversive narratives are entwined. Central to Marten's work is the idea that the visual classificatory systems and conventions of natural history and encyclopaedic illustrations are inherently partial and unstable, and she exploits this knowledge
to create a surreal and subversive world.
Ruth Marten (b. 1949) is a former tattoo artist and successful commercial illustrator whose love of the printed image informs
her current interest in over-drawing and changing 18th-century engravings. Marten has been exhibiting at the Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York since 2000.