Regarding the Artwork of Dave Martsolf

Statement

Dave Martsolf has been drawing and painting for over 40 years, since turning away from studies in architecture at MIT, circa 1967-70, to focus on the Fine Arts.  Initially, he was intrigued by surrealism, and applied skills in photorealism to create complex surreal oil canvases with a dark flair.  In the 1980’s these abilities earned him the Juror’s Prize at the “UNH Revisited” Alumni Show in 1981, and the Sawyer Award for Painting at the 38th Annual New Hampshire Art Association Exhibition at the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, NH (1985).  Later, this same time period of his artistic career was awarded the Grand Prize in the Art List’s worldwide on-line Artist of the Month Contest in 2018.

However, over the years Martsolf came to realize that the energy and artistic honesty contained in original sketches were of more poetic value to him than his early works, which drew the viewer inexorably into a realistic, but ultimately illusionistic space.  He felt that he was losing his love of the “dance”, if you will, of the artistic creative moment, and leaving behind any ability to communicate that love to the observer. 

Today Martsolf documents the results of this quest in his current production of abstract oils.  That quest has progressed gradually from sketches that suggest objects common or understandable in our day-to-day 3-dimensional world to his current totally abstract work.  These newest pieces push the original sketch line to become the artwork itself. The lines are emboldened with a variety of line widths of black oil paint with light background pastel colors to delight the eye in a dance filled with suggested motion, the push and pull of our own relationship to the world around us.

Press and Resume (last 11 years only)

2019 - Martsolf's artwork was featured in an article in the Merrimack Valley Magazine's June 2019 issue

Click here to read the article in the magazine's online edition.

2018 - Martsolf received a Capsule Review in the May issue of Artscope magazine, and an interview in July with the Boston Voyager on-line newspaper. He also gave a 1-hour presentation for Methuen Community TV on his artwork that is still available in their website series "Artist in the Studio".

2018 - Martsolf was named Artist of the Month by the ArtList.com

Reviewed by Artscope Magazine's Jan 5, 2012 E-mail Blast! publication

"When realism and surrealism collide, you get Dave Martsolf. He has the skills and trained hand to make his paintings graphic and true to life, which he pairs with his theoretical, conceptual imagination. It is not very often that we come across an artist so grounded yet so fanciful, all in the same instance.

Martsolf's work is fresh and original. He takes the everyday and ventures with it into the unknown, a journey that results in his astonishing art. Even some of his most far-fetched pieces posses an aura of sanity and organization, dispelling any notion of the irrational or unconscious typically associated with surrealism."

Also Reviewed by Artscope Magazine Jan-Feb 2012 Edition in Capsule Previews

"Galatea Fine Art starts 2012 with three exhibitions intended to get you thinking. “David Martsolf: Unbridled Imagination” is a visual, watercolor-painted pendulum ride swinging between Realism and Surrealism. After making a name for himself as an artist to watch in the 1980s, Martsolf’s been a digital imagery pioneer for the personal computer generation — his work includes making screensavers for the Damsel Software Group. He’s escaped the vortex to return to the artistic style that had him labeled “an excellent draftsman, a master of arbitrary space and a colorist of more than ordinary competence.”

Past Biography, Education, Shows and Awards

Dave Martsolf, born 1949 in Manhattan, Kansas, lived his early life in western Pennsylvania, moving to New Hampshire at age 12, where he resides today. 

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1967 - 1970 Architecture

University of New Hampshire 1970 - 1973 Fine Arts, Art History

University of New Hampshire 1983 - 1985 Bachelor of Arts in the Arts 

Solo Shows

ALL Arts Gallery/Greenwald Gallery, Lowell, MA, 2020

Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, 2019

Parish Center for the Arts, Westford, MA, 2019

Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, 2018

Galatea Fine Art, Boston, MA, 2012

Awards 

1st Prize, “From All Sides”, Arts League of Lowell, MA, 2018

Certificate of Excellence, Artavita.com’s 26th On-line Art Contest, 2018

People’s Choice Award, “Honoring Gaia”, Arts League of Lowell, Lowell, MA, 2018

Grand Prize, The Art List’s on-line Artist of the Month Contest, 2018

Certificate of Excellence, Artavita.com’s 24th On-line Art Contest, 2017

National Juried Shows

5th Annual Colorful Abstractions On-line Juried Art Exhibition, Fusion Art, Nov 2019

Electron Salon, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, CA, Jan 2018

3rd Annual Colorful Abstractions On-line Juried Art Exhibition, Fusion Art, Nov 2017

3rd Annual Figures & Faces On-line Juried Art Exhibition, Fusion Art, Oct 2017

Gallery 25N.com & Art-Competition.net “Dreams 3” on-line Art Exhibition, Aug 2017

Caladan Gallery “Reality” on-line show, Dec-Jan 2011- 2012

Water: A National Juried Photography Exhibition - Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT  July-August 2009

Regional Group Shows

"Eighth Annual One" - ArtsWorcester, Worcester, MA, September 2020

"Resilience" - Members' Show - Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, September 2020

"Gravity/Levity" - ArtsWorcester, Worcester, MA, July-August 2020

"March Members Salon" - @ the W Gallery, Wayland, MA, March 2020

"Faces" - Group Show - ALL Arts Gallery, Lowell, MA, February-April 2020

"Bodyscapes" - Juried Show - Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, March 2020

"April Members Salon" - @ the W Gallery, Wayland, MA,  April 2020

"Transistions" - ArtsWorcester, Worcester, MA, March-April 2020

"Water", ALL Arts Gallery, Lowell, MA, January-February 2020

"January Members Show", @ the W Gallery, Wayland, MA, January 2020

"Arts Wayland Small Works Exhibit" , @ the W Gallery, Wayland, MA, December 2019

"100 and Below", ALL Arts Gallery, Lowell, MA, December 2019

"Holiday Show", Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, December 2019

"Members' Exhibition" at ArtsWorcester, on view December 6, 2019 thru January 11, 2020

“Art of the Macabre”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, October-November 2019

“Illustration in Black and White”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, September 2019


“Out of the Ordinary”, Arts League of Lowell, Lowell, MA, June-July 2019


“About Face”, ArtsWorcester, Worcester, MA, June-July 2019


“Abstractions”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, June 2019


“Assemblages”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, April 2019

“All Things Red”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, February 2019

“Fantasy Worlds & Mystical Beasts”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, January 2019

“2018 Annual Member’s Exhibition”, The Brush Gallery, Lowell, MA, Lowell, Dec 2018

“100 and Below”, Arts League of Lowell, MA, December 2018

“The Twelve Days of Christmas”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, December 2018

“A Matter of Perspective”, Arts Worcester, Worcester, MA, October 2018

"Variationsin Size”, Arts League of Lowell, MA, August 2018

“Artist Co-op Exhibition”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, July 2018

“New England Group Show”, Arts League of Lowell, MA, July 2018

“From All Sides”, Arts League of Lowell, MA, May-June 2018

“Take Back the Night”, Arts League of Lowell, Lowell, MA, April 2018

“Looking for America”, Gallery Z, Lowell, MA, March 2018

“Four for Education”, The Brush Gallery, Lowell, MA, March 2018

“Honoring Gaia”, Arts League of Lowell, Lowell, MA, March 2018

“NE Collective III”, Galatea Fine Art, Boston, MA, August 2012

The LAP Gallery “Zines Show”, Waltham, MA, May 2012

Holiday Group Show, Lynn Arts Center, Lynn, MA, December 2011

Small Works Group Show, Galatea Fine Art, Boston, MA, December 2011

Artmarket Gallery & Exhibitions – Juried Show – Boston, MA, June 2009

Experimental Art Gallery – Juried Show – Salem, MA, June 2009

Trees Atlanta - Trees in Art Exhibit - Atlanta, GA, May 2009

Group Show - Gale Library Annual Art Exhibition - Newton, NH, April 2009

Other Exhibitions 2008-2009

Water: A National Juried Photography Exhibition - Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT
July-August 2009

Downtown Crossing Juried Art Competition - ArtMarket Gallery, Boston, MA, June 2009

Small Works '09 Juried Exhibition - Experimental Art Gallery, Salem, MA, June 2009

Trees Atlanta - Trees in Art Exhibit - Atlanta, GA, May 2009

Group Show - Gale Library Annual Art Exhibition - Newton, NH, April 2009

Projekt30.com on-line juried exhibition, March 2009

4' x 6' oil painting "Surface Tension" installed in retail space window fronting Washington Street, Boston, a major retail thoroughfare of the city.  July 2009

5'x 4' oil painting "Ferris Wheel" installed in entryway foyer of ArtMarket Gallery, Boston, MA.  July 2009

Projekt30.com on-line juried exhibition, December 2008