Martha Friedman, Floating Thought #1, from “A Natural Thickening of Thought” (2022). Photo: Glen Cheriton, courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco. © Martha Friedman
Martha Friedman is a maestro of rubber, casting the bouncy, stretchy material into sheets, ropes, and tubes that she incorporates into artworks that range from sculptures to choreographed performances—and, most recently, the painterly light boxes on view in her current solo shows at San Francisco’s Jessica Silverman Gallery and the Princeton University Art Museum.
The series “A Natural Thickening of Thought” consists of 10 works, each featuring colorful, vaguely organic shapes made using dyed rubber. They were inspired by drawings of neurons by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the Spanish scientist who won the 1906 Nobel Prize for his research on the nervous system, which included detailed, groundbreaking drawings of what he saw beneath the microscope.