The Impressionists were able to turn their artistic talents to any subject, in landscape, portrait or still life. Modern painters tend to be much more restrictive in their subject matter and stick to one or two narrow areas of expertise.
Luke Martineau is different in that he’s as comfortable painting flowers in a vase as he is with the New York skyline or the Exmoor countryside.
Monet and Grimshaw had an affinity for London but most contemporary landscape artists prefer the more scenic views of the Scottish highlands or the Cornish coast. So it’s refreshing that Martineau is able to find beauty in the everyday of our city, whether it be the river Thames or Turnham Green Tube station.
The other city to feature strongly in his work is New York. He is able to capture both the traditional view of Times Square and the rather unorthodox painting of construction workers on a scaffold.
In terms of technique, Martineau may not offer anything that you haven’t seen before but the diversity of his portfolio means that there’s something to meet everyone’s tastes, as suggested by the fact that half of his works had already been sold before the exhibition opened.
Luke Martineau: My Life in Paint is on display at Panter & Hall, 27 Bury St, SW1Y 6AL until 8 June. Entrance is free.