Born in 1992 in Vitry-sur-Seine, France
Works and lives à Paris, France


Simon Martin’s pictorial work is built on the recovery and resurgence of details, evoking the contemporary world and intimacy. « Simon Martin lays on the canvas, the substance of what he loves. People, flowers, the rest, share the same languidness, recorded on surfaces with chalky ranges, with a thoroughly mineral sensuality. Through painting, he transforms the moment into imagery, using a fiercely photographic strategy, to do with writing through light.» (Joël Riff)

He obtained his master’s degree from the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2017 and studied at the Royal School of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 2016. He is the winner of the Bertrand de Demandolx-Dedons 2017 Portrait Prize awarded from les Amis des Beaux-Arts. In 2019, he took part in Révélations Emerige and the Antoine Marin Prize.

His work was featured in solo exhibitions at the galerie Jousse Entreprise in March 2023, in 2020 and on the occasion of FIAC 2021 at Grand Palais Éphémère and in 2023 at the Peter Kilchmann Gallery in Zurich. He also took part in group exhibitions at MO.CO in Montpellier, at Musée des Sables d’Olonnes, musée Estrine of Saint-Rémy de Provence, musée des Beaux-Arts de Dôle, MUCEM in Marseille, and at Fondation Pernod-Ricard in Paris. In 2021, one of this painting joined the collection of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.



Simon Martin’s paintings are the result of careful observation of certain details from his daily environment, or works to which he is connected to by a feeling of empathy. It is a slow process of impregnation, similar to the way that a recording device absorbs what is visible to then restore some carefully ripened, carefully chosen fragments. The pictorial texture is light and soft, seemingly perceived through a filter that attenuates the brightness of colors in order to protect one’s eyesight from damage. The figures are shadows, arising from the surface of the plane of the canvas as if they came from the surface of a porous, rain-washed wall. There exists, too, the the idea of masking, of an ellipse of elements, things invisible yet present under the paint, which covers them tenuously. The visible is but strengthened by this, like the tip of an iceberg whose whiteness glitters on the horizon. That which reveals itself is thus linked to that which escapes the gaze, these two states melted into a gray muralism modulated by minute variations of blue or pink. It is a painting of nuances elaborated between the almost nothing and the almost everything, a suggestion of images thought of and shaped by the collisions between memory and the present, present perceptible through a door, a piece of furniture from Ikea or the evoking of a face, indications of a reality assimilated to a mental and physical situation. From this situation which is that of a conscience, Simon Martin develops a subtle art, pictorial translator of the presence of objects and beings, a presence as dis- creet and precise presence as the shaking of a leaf stirred by the breeze.


Marc Desgrandchamps, 2018


Biography (PDF) Artworks Exhibitions News Press





Skip to toolbar