Michel Martens Unique Relief Mirror
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Michel Martens, relief mirror, glass, fixation structure, Belgium, 1985
Expressive wall art by Belgian designer Michel Martens designed in 1985. Martens, who is known for colorful glass windows as well as his art with mirrored glass, created multiple pieces of wall art in the late 1970s/ early 1980s that all have a relief surface with mirrored glass in common. Each piece in one of a kind.
This piece of art interfaces with its surrounding. It consists of two rectangular parts that form together one large square with four fields. In each field thin ribbons of slightly bevelled glass are arranged in diagonal lines. The mirrored glass captures and reflects the environment and the light. The fragmented look of the piece of art reminds of a diamond. Each line of glass reflects and breaks the light differently, so that a dynamic, vivid play of lines catches the eye. A cross line in yellow glass separates each field and strengthens the design. With a height and width of 151 cm (59.45 in.) Martens’ wall art has an impressive size. At the side, the artist stamped the material with his name and the year of creation.
Michel Martens (1921-2006) was a respected designer of stained-glass windows and had an impressive career creating stained glass windows for churches. His credo was 'light is my material, glass my medium'. Martens was an autodidact and first taught himself the technique of stained windows. He designed an impressive 7000 meter stained-glass between 1947 and 1989 for churches and monasteries. From 1968 onwards, Martens started to lose the church as a main client and therefore started to develop a practice in which he worked with mirrors that were also suitable for the private sector and private homes. With his radical and modern approach to glass art, Martens became part of the Post-war Abstract Modernist movement. Using mirrored glass opened up new perspectives for Martens. He even started using industrial glass as well, for his so-called 'Crazy Mirrors'. His artworks are now part of private and museum collections worldwide.
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