Martha Diamond was born in New York, NY in 1944. New York City is both her home and the dominant theme of her art. Her idea of urban architecture was seeded from the heights of Stuyvesant Town, where she was raised, and the skyscrapers lining Central Park, where her father had his office. Later the highways and suspension bridges leading into Manhattan sharpened Diamond’s focus. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Carleton College, in rural Northfield, Minnesota, noted for its large manmade Indian Mounds. After a year in Paris, she earned a Master of Arts Degree at New York University.
Often labeled as a Neo-Expressionist painter, Diamond is best known for cityscape abstractions in big, sweeping, gestural brushstrokes. She often translates her work into print media. A May 1996 visit to collaborate with Stewart & Stewart in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, resulted in four screenprint editions. Buildings float on a sky of ethereal blue marks, moving the light diagonally in “Air”, a four-color screenprint. “Hudson Group”, a five-color screenprint, alludes to the artist’s memory of buildings near the Hudson River. In “Towers”, a one-color screenprint, the repetitive patterns of the architecture create a sense of rhythm. The viewer’s eyes and mind can respond to the monumentality of the towers. “Vignettes”, also a one-color screenprint, at first glance, seems to diverge from Diamond’s usual focus on human-made structures. However, the images are specific roofscapes of New York City. All except the secret man taking photographs are carvings of birds, cherubs, and figurative sculptures. Diamond’s renewed interest in drawing led her to extend her imagery to the figurative architectural elements, to use them later in her paintings. When asked about the one-color screeprints, Diamond responds, “The viewer can’t always tell what medium I’ve used. They could just as easily be paintings drawn with bamboo brushes and sumi ink.”
Diamond has soloed at Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine; Robert Miller Gallery and Brooke Alexander, Inc., New York, NY. Her Work has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York, NY; Bradford Art Galleries and Museum, Bradford, England; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY and Taft Museum in Cincinnati, OH.