'Serie escondida 2003', Marta Marce

Painting of abstract shapes in different colours

Acrylic on canvas, 244 x 124 cm

“Marta Marce works with the systems and rules of games and the structure these rules provide as the starting point for her paintings.

The simple rules of games are used to issue instructions and outline her strategies in the making of the painting. She also allows an element of chance and self-determination to enter the process in order to introduce playfulness and creativity in the face of a constrained activity.

Games act as a model for the real world. They provide a structure for activity with an uncertain outcome. The act of painting functions in a similar way for Marce. There are the boundaries of the canvas, the limitations of paint, the conceptual constraints of making a painting, and finally the structure of the environment in which they are shown, together with the expectations of the viewer. In engaging directly with these structures in the making of the painting, Marce seeks to create a space for experimentation and play within her chosen discipline. The results are paintings with immense energy and impact, at once vibrant and colourful, and with a playfulness rarely seen in contemporary painting.”

(Mobile Home Gallery London press release 2004; quoted by permission)


Marta Marce was born in Vilafranca del Penedes, Barcelona in 1972. She studied at the Facultat de Belles Artes Barcelona 1990-95 and the Royal College of Art 1998-2000. She has lived in London since 1997. Her exhibitions include New Contemporaries 2000, Jerwood Painting Prize 2001, a two-person show with Sigmar Polke, Milton Keynes Gallery 2001, The Bold and the Beautiful Mile End Pavilion London and Australian tour 2002-3, New British Painting I John Hansard Gallery Southampton 2003 and a solo show at Mobile Home Gallery London 2004.