A little jazz, a lot of work lands artist Martin Payton his first solo show in Baton Rouge

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 11:04:46 AM. This day belongs to John Coltrane's never-ending saxophone narration, the freestyle jazz leaving ideas in its wake.
This day belongs to John Coltrane's never-ending saxophone narration, the freestyle jazz leaving ideas in its wake. Tomorrow, Martin Payton may trade Coltrane for Miles Davis. Or Sarah Vaughn. Or Louis Armstrong.  Their improvisation is magic. And Payton's inspiration that he embraced after years of fabricating steel into metal sculptures. "There was a stiffness to those (early) pieces, still, in my mind," he says. "I wanted to make sculpture that was more expressive than this — that connected better with the idea of improvisation in the music that I so admired. So, I began using pieces of steel that were indented or twisted or beat-up that I would find in scrapyards. I wanted to use it just as I found it. I felt that that was more in spirit with improvisation." Some of these pieces stand alongside Payton's fabricated sculptures in his Prescott Road studio, but the majority are showing in the LSU Museum of Art's exhibit, "Broken Time: Sculpture by Martin Payton," through Feb. 11. It's Payton's first solo show in Baton Rouge. Its title comes from the jazz term "broken time," where the beat is syncopated or irregular. And now he sits in his studio letting Coltrane's broken time guide him to the next project. "I don't know what it will be," Payton says. "I’ve been so busy trying to pull things together for the show, so hopefully I can get back in here and get started again." Payton sits in front of a memorabilia-filled wall while thinking about his future. He's 69 and has been a...Read more
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