When in 2007 Robert Martiensen was discovered deceased in his derelict home in rural South Australia an incredible secret was revealed. Throughout the modest building were stacks of some 7,000 framed and unframed paintings all created after 1990 when this enigmatic, inflexible, highly erudite, but equally eccentric individual was retired from his employment as a primary school mathematics teacher.
Quick thinking and rapid action by the book’s author, psychotherapist and art gallery owner Dr Elizabeth Arthur, saved the entire collection from destruction or dispersal to enable this study to be undertaken. Martiensen, an obsessive individual who kept his art secret from the art world, never seeking to exhibit or sell it, might be described as an ‘Outsider Artist’ and join the catalogue of unusual artistic identities who have been discovered throughout the world.
Robert Martiensen’s story, based on interviews with those who knew him, is accompanied by more than 500 colour reproductions of his paintings – works which clearly demonstrate his fluctuating moods and intellectual interests while exhibiting remarkable aesthetic achievement.
Previously unknown to the art world, his secret is now revealed.