John Pitman Weber and Oscar Martinez’ Contrast Entanglements

Left: John Pitman Weber and Sergio Gomez. Right: Sergio Gomez and Oscar Martinez
Left: John Pitman Weber and Sergio Gomez. Right: Sergio Gomez and Oscar Martinez

I am very excited to announce a two-person exhibition by two long time resident artists of Chicago who I admire dearly. Both Oscar Martinez and John Pitman Weber are extraordinary artists.  Their work reflects a commitment to education, Chicago, the art community and social justice. Their friendly spirit and commitment makes them two of Chicago’s extraordinary artists.


Oscar Luis Martinez and John Pitman Weber:
Contrast entanglements
Zhou B Art Center
Opening Reception November 15th from 7-10PM 

Martinez and Weber have known each other and followed each other’s work for many years, since co-leading two murals decades ago.   However, previously they have only shown together twice, each time in the other’s studio.   This exhibit brings together large selections from their recent bodies of work.  Weber’s recent studio work is all large woodcut prints and even larger drawings.  Martinez in contrast is showing a selection from his suite of lushly colorful large oil paintings.  Weber’s two suites in classically graphic Black and White are set off by the  rich palette of tropical color animating Martinez’s large paintings.   Martinez’s paintings are filled with tropical foliage and mysterious reclining nudes displaced (rather than placed) in lyrical but unstable and almost crowded compositions.  Weber’s suites are by contrast almost starkly simple.   The selections from his “Barbed Wire Suite” are dynamic entanglements, in abstract spaces, with a different with surprisingly varied moods. The oversized woodcut figures confront barriers and constraints, demanding our response.

Resurrection oil on canvas 50 x 60 inches




Oscar Martínez resides in Chicago, Illinois. Through the study of science and art at the University of Illinois at Champaign, in 1977, he received a Bachelor of Science in Medical Art from the University of Illinois Medical Center.  Mr. Martínez is an accomplished artist who has had numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and the South Eastern and Midwest regions of the U.S. Among his many credits, his work has been shown in the Museum of Bellas Artes and the National Historical Museum in Mexico, the Desplaines Museum in Illinois, NIU Museum’s Gallery in Chicago, the Field Museum of Chicago, the State of Illinois Museum in Springfield and its gallery in Chicago at the State of Illinois Building.  Additionally, his work has been featured on various television shows and published in newspapers and magazines.

Martínez was actively involved in the Chicago mural movement and has painted numerous murals throughout out the city.  Moreover, he was appointed by the Mayor of Chicago to judge the international Design/Build competition for the Chicago Public Library and the selection of the library’s art collection.  He was also appointed by the Governor of the State of Illinois to the Illinois Arts Council where he served as chair of Media Arts.  Furthermore, he has served on various boards and commissions including as President of the Latino Institute of Chicago. He is also the founder of the Latin American Museum of Art. In 2005, he did an Artist in Residency at the University of Illinois at Champaign. He is currently Artist in Residence at the Chicago Grammar School.

Oil Will Set Us Free by John Pitman Weber



John Pitman Weber is an internationally active public artist, mosaicist and printmaker, and emeritus professor of art.

Weber has been chosen for several international traveling exhibits, including the historic “Committed to Print” from the Museum of Modern Art,  NYC 1988,  and “Bridges and Boundaries,” from the Jewish Museum.  He will participate in an international exhibit in San Diego in 2014   Weber has had over 25 solo exhibits including 5 in New York City. In 2010 Weber represented the United States as a Cultural Envoy to Spain, with the program La Ciudad Pintada in Vitoria-Gasteiz,  Avala,.

Weber is represented in the Print & Drawing collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Spertus Institute, the DePaul University Art Museum,  Valparaiso University’s Brauer Art Museum, the Elmhurst College Collection, the Cohen Library of CCNY, University of the City of New York, The Koehnline Museum at Oakton College, the Illinois Benedictine University Collection and the Northern Illinois University Print Collection.

Weber has been active as a public artist since 1969.  This summer he restored  his “Rompiendo Las Cadenas,” originally painted in 1971, at Rockwell and LeMoyne, for LUCHA (Latin United Community Housing Association).  10 more of his outdoor public works survive in the Chicago area, including the 100 yard long mosaic “Song of 47th St.” in the 47th St & Lake Park underpass, a sculptural play area at Sabin CPS (on Leavitt).  sculptural benches at the Logan Square Boys and Girls Club and the polychrome cement relief “For the People of the Future” at North and Springfield, as well as several indoor pieces.

Weber has exhibited frequently in Pilsen for over 25 years, in both solo and group shows, including Pilsen Open Studios, and shows at Prospectus, Carlos & Dominguez, Mestizarte, Casa Aztlan, Casa Michoacan, and Inkworks.

He and his wife live in Pilsen.

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