Tony Martin (artist)

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Tony Martin (born 1937) is an American multimedia artist and painter.


Early life and education[edit]

Martin is the son of painter and graphic artist David Stone Martin.[1] Born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1937, he attended the University of Michigan and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Often incorporating light compositions and visual projections into interactive installations and musical performances, he has worked with such composers as Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnick and David Tudor. Some of Martin's works include: "Theater For Walkers, Talkers, Touchers" (1962), collaborations with David Tudor for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and a piece for the E.A.T. Pepsi Pavilion at Expo 70, in Osaka, Japan. Martin helped co-found The Painting Center in 1993. This center aims to provide exhibition space for both emerging and mature painters.[2]

His works using light began with multiprojector and pure light installations and performances in the mid-1960s in conjunction with the new music emerging from the San Francisco Tape Music Center. ( See 2008 UCPress SFTMC book for a complete history and DVD ).

In Light Pendulum ‘09, and other interactive installations, Martin distributes variable thematic content through switching systems and optics activated by the viewers. Principles of resonance and feedback are applied through photo and proximity electronics. These kinds of pieces have roots in the viewer-participation sculptures and installations such as The Well ( permanent coll. Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY ), You Me We, The Door (permanent coll. Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Oh ), and Game Room, first exhibited at the Howard Wise Gallery in the late 60’s. He created the light system for the Experiments In Art & Technology Pavilion at Expo '70, Osaka, Japan. A NEA grant helped to develop the Vector Image Wall, a constantly evolving electronically produced drawing made of spatial and moving lines of light, shown at PS 1, NYC. A web work Galaxy, was commissioned by Electronic Arts Intermix in 2003.

Artfair Miami-Basel, Mills Music Festival, and The Art Students League have hosted new works, including "Sound. Light. Migrations" a collaboration with Pauline Oliveros. Recent computer/video pieces apply direct hands-on drawing techniques in real time. Examples of these are "In the Wake Of Edges", "Light Marks Converse", and "Ear to the Ground". "Sunloom", an immersive video composition made from sunlight continues the sharing of his work with light through his unique visual language.


Grants and awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship.


  1. ^ Obituary of David Stone Martin by Bruce Lambert, The New York Times, March 8, 1992.
  2. ^ NYU's Fales Library and Special Collections Guide to the Tony Martin Papers