Martin Ries
Painter, Printmaker, Art Historian, Art Critic


Kim Volpe-Casalino, Editor,
Long Island University
Magazine, vol. 15, no.2, Fall 2007, p. 29:

"Mystic Landscapes: An Intuition of Order"  These new pieces provide a counterpoint to his early series “Sacred Landscapes,” which was inspired by his experiences in World War II and his rumina­tions on the demise of civilizations. Whereas in “Sacred Landscapes,” man was depicted as being rooted in the ground - molecular and biodegradable - the new work portrays man’s state of being in non-spatial terms...

Robert C. Morgan, Art Critic, Author,
The Interior Landscape and the Value of Mysticism:
Paintings by Martin Ries, catalog essay, 20 pp., 2007

“... the Mystic Landscapes” offer a point of view rather than an opinion. They offer a visionary lexicon of meanings — in the pluralistic sense — that assert the presence and absence of a unique language within the context of our originality as a species."

Noel Frackman, Contributing Editor,
Arts magazine, March 1986, quote from personal interview:

"Myths not only reverberate throughout Ries's work but gain fresh significance for the 1980s. Ries's methods are never doctrinaire, rather his works capture attention through their carefully considered balance of complex visual imagery and striking design."

Shirli Evans, March 1986:

"Martin Ries is a visionary artist who interprets the world in terms of art history, myth and religion, with ... consummate delicacy and skill ... layering paint, portions of silk screen prints, three-dimensional constructions and other components."

Dennis Wepman, December 1986:

"Literate references to collateral sources of inspiration, like Mudra, the Sense of Signs, with its reference to the Buddhist tradition of symbolic gestures, show how far Ries can subordinate the original source of his inspiration to his creative will. Ries's arcane and suggestive titles are his poetry. They are like the paintings - personal, allusive, using words as the art uses images, in the artist's own service."

1 March 1985:

"Martin Ries glues paintings on other paintings, sometimes plates of silk screens, sometimes found pieces, to create reliefs and multiple paintings. Transfers Lover Into Loved has three works in raised relief on a dark, even lugubrious landscape. His small pithy works are in great contrast to the intellectual Frank Stella. The two travel parallel but very distant paths."

Cecily Barth Firestein,
Artspeak, 1 December

"Few have called upon [photo silk screen printing] to perform so great a function, to document the continuity of man's culture ...  There is a deep commitment to intellectualism as well as to aesthetics.  It is a tribute to the artist that he can assimilate and organize his original thoughts into interesting artistic interpretations."

Park East magazine,
Dorothy Powell, 8 June 1972:

"...Old Passions and Succinct Deeds Exquisitely Organized is the provocative title of a superb print by Martin Ries..."

Art and Artists magazine,
London England, January 1971:

"Martin Ries exhibited silk screen prints ... has recently come to the attention of vanguard New York artists and collectors..." -The New York Letter, by Gregory Battcock.

Art News magazine,
summer 1970:

"Martin Ries shows small intricate collages that put into play a storage of hermetic signs. The visual parts of each picture come together so that their semantic value is one of "coming together": the titles are, for example, The Unity and Dialogues of the Wonderful, and Spring and Wind to Each Other. The found elements are taken from old paintings or occult books; the craft involves repeating those elements so that the picture is a matter of stepping into history."

Bijustu-Techo Art Journal,
Tokyo, Japan, December 1968, p.254:

"A production of themes from Greek mythology by a famous American printmaker. By means of silk screen photographic process, a fanciful and surprising world is made to appear by combining images. This kind of work has never before been seen in Japan." [Translation by Prof. John Lane, Long Island University]

Arts magazine,
May 1968:

"A phalanx of bulls, pharaohs, kings and queens, and labyrinths present a visionary epiphany of a personal surreal-Mythology with priapic overtones. The artist achieves an inordinantly psychic tension by multiple imagery of collage and silk screening art history reproductions (15th century tapestry, Renaissance drawing, Egyptian hieroglyphs, etc.), sumptuous underpainting, and gold leaf..."

Art News magazine,
April 1968:

"...Martin Ries's immaculately crafted collages recall an older genteel time. In fact, they are fabricated from ancient myths; the story of Theseus, Ariadne, the Minotaur, are images the artist has found echoed in Renaissance drawings, predicted in Egyptian hieroglyphs. These old representations are reproduced in these collages. As thought paralleling the transformation of the theme over time, the visual images here are revealed, broken up, repeated or subsumed into fragile surfaces of delicate color."

Art News magazine,
April 1962:

"Four egg temperas by Martin Ries are outstanding. A Sacred Landscape is rich with aging color, totem structures, decorative signs like hieroglyphs, mutating transparencies and treasures like a dislocated skeleton hanging in the central cylindrical shape..."

Frank Getlein,
New Republic magazine, 28 January 1957:

"...Rococo skeletons in stylish egg tempera by Martin Ries are notable."

Ariba Newspaper,
Madrid Spain, 25 April 1956:

"... his creativity reveals a notable preoccupation with very basic schemes and extraordinary mastery of pictorial technique."

Leslie Judd Ahlander,
Washington Post & Times-Herald, 1953:

Ries "...combines simplicity of large planes with extraordinary delicate overlay of line in paintings of magic and emotional imagery ... has a strange exotic talent with the romantic midnight vision of Beardsley ... rare and special appeal ... technically he is extremely competent."

James Nyce
Washington DC, 1950:

The Sun-Spot and the Holy Man; The holy man is pervaded by the passage of time and the presence of space. These do not effect him, nor effect the influences of him and creation upon one another. He is now striving to exist in the sphere beyond the effects of space and time: within the realm of soul, where self exists... (read full article)


| Biography | Statement | Home | Art Work | Where to See Art Work |