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Made in Hull: Martyn Chalk Retrospective

4th March 2017 - 1st April 2017, Artlink Hull

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Made in hull showcased a selection of Martyn Chalk’s drawings and constructions made since the late nineteen sixties. Martyn utilises materials collected from skips and other waste sources. The character of these found pieces often emerge as the starting point for the resulting constructions, with the work developing slowly towards a final form. Echoes of the real world are the result of recognition rather than intention. In a similar way many of the drawings started with responses to pre-existing marks or shadows across the paper surface.

A supporter of Artlink, he continues to work from his studio in the Avenues. His practice has developed from a childhood making things out of scraps of wood without any real notion of what they would be. Recollecting his Father, a carpenter, musings that “what they were most like was what they were.”  Not much has changed.

Closely linked to Martyn’s studio practice are the “Missing presumed Destroyed”   reconstructions of lost works by the Russian Artist Vladimir Tatlin. Between 1913 and 1917 Vladimir Tatlin made a series of innovative constructions and sculptures. In `The Great Experiment` published in 1962, Camilla Gray described these as `Missing Presumed Destroyed`, because the only records available were faded photographs reproduced in secondary sources in poor condition. Her book was the source for Martyn’s first two reconstructions made in 1966, and she later gave Martyn copies of two original prints given to her by Tatlin`s widow.

By the early seventies the first two of Martyn’s reconstructions had been exhibited in Canada, Australia, Sweden, Holland and London. By in the mid seventies new material had become available and Annely Juda, of Annely Juda Fine Art, London, suggested extending the project.

In 1981 seven reconstructions were exhibited under the title `Missing Presumed Destroyed` at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, Annely Juda Fine Art and the Tokyo Gallery, Japan.  In response to requests for loans and purchases from major museums and galleries short editions of each piece were commissioned. For these new commissions the original sources were revisited so that each was built as if for the first time.

As interest in Tatlin grew, and as Russian sources released further images, three further reconstructions were commissioned between  1992 –2002. The reconstructions have been widely exhibited and are included in public and private collections across the world and have been illustrated in publications on both Tatlin and on Russian art. The work is acknowledged in Russia and some reconstructions are listed in the catalogue raisonne of Tatlin`s work by Anatolii Strigalev.

Annely Juda died in 2006 and Wiesbaden Museum, Germany, has a full collection of reconstructions in her memory. The exhibition at Artlink included images of ten reconstructions of reliefs by the Russian artist Vladimir Tatlin along with other retrospective works.

Artist Bio

Born in Wiltshire 1945.

Working in Hull since 1967.

Selected exhibitions of drawings and constructions

2000    `Drawing Nowhere` one day CCTV event. EICH Gallery, Hull

1997    group show, University of the Southern Cross, Australia

1996    Solo, Pittville Gallery, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of HE

1992    Solo, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull

1990    Eva  Cohon Gallery, Chicago. With Michael  Michaeledes and Nathan Cohen

1987    Solo, Juda Rowan Gallery, London

1986    Open Art `86, Mappin Gallery, Sheffield

1985    Small Works, Juda Rowan Gallery, London

1985    `Twenty Five Years – the eighties` Juda Rowan Gallery, London

1984    Solo, Annely Juda Fine Art, London.

1982    Harleys Boston Open exhibition tour . Prizewinner

1982    Regional Fine Art Exhibition, LHA. Tour

1972    Solo touring exhibition, Nottinghamshire County Libraries

1971    Art Spectrum North, Arts Council touring exhibition


East Riding County Council

University of Hull

Anne Berthoud, London

Ferens Art Gallery, Hull

Eva Cohon Gallery, Chicago

Annely Juda Fine Art

Private collectors UK, USA, Europe

Artist Martyn Chalk


4th March 2017
1st April 2017
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Artlink Hull
87 Princes Avenue
Hull, England HU5 3QP United Kingdom
01482 345104

Thanks To Our Main Funders

Arts Council Hull City Council