Martin Venezky

February 1 – February 28, 2020

“These images are pieced together from material and light studies that I perform on scavenged tools, toys, materials and appliances which I have disassembled. I am interested in how the camera crunches these small parts down further into gestures of light and structure. This generative process breaks apart the complicated act of seeing into small units — building blocks with which I construct large scale physical compositions.

“Perhaps these machines have quietly evolved from mountains of discarded hardware. In the same way, the image arises slowly as parts find each other and form relationships—an additive, analog process that creates logic and narrative from the inside out. As a final crucial step, I use the physical construction as a map to rebuild the image in a digital format, crossing media once again to retranslate the image into a flattened, stylized product.

“I’ve labeled these mysterious contraptions The New Machinery as a nod towards the recycled materials and the machine-like logic in their creation and perception. Cobbled together from discarded utilitarian parts, their presence invites inspection while their function remains inscrutable.”



Martin Venezky is an artist based in San Francisco, California. Throughout his career as a graphic designer, Venezky has maintained a deep interest in photographic process and abstraction. For the past several years, he has created new bodies of work in photography and photographic installation.

Venezky has an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and an MFA in Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has taught at RISD and CalArts and, for over 25 years, at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where he is currently Professor in the Graduate Design Program. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art honored Venezky with a 2001 solo exhibition, and his monograph, It Is Beautiful…Then Gone, was published by Princeton Architectural Press. In 2015

Venezky was inducted into the esteemed Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). In 2018, San Francisco’s Letterform Archive acquired an extensive collection of his work, studies and process for their permanent collection.