Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Chopped Tree by Gan Martin

  • Title: Chopped Tree
  • Artist: Gan Martin
  • Medium: Ink and color wash
  • Size: 10.5"h x 25"w
  • Added to collection: 2008
  • Donor: Gift of Barbara Martin
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B7/1 Main Hallway gallery

Gan Martin was heir to a tradition of Oregon painting that goes back to the early 20th century. While he certainly was in touch with later trends in art, including modernism's tendency to explore abstraction, Martin was at heart a figurative artist. His drawings and paintings exemplify the traditions of regionalism: he depicted the natural world and the incidents and objects of daily life. Martin lived in Coos Bay for more than 40 years, so the coastline of Oregon and its forests and farmland were his territory. He excelled at finding unexpected beauty in familiar, often modest objects—rusted bolts, shotgun shell casings, a pile of logs—but he also made landscape paintings that analyze the architectonic forms of the region's geology and capture the space and light of the Pacific coastline.