Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Michael Craig-Martin - Serpentine Gallery

Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (light bulb), 2014
Michael Craig-Martin: Transience is at the Serpentine Gallery until 14 February 2016.
It's been a busy year for Michael Craig-Martin: in the spring his excellent book On Being an Artist was published, in the summer he was co-ordinator of the Royal Academy Summer Show and now he has an exhibition of his distinctive paintings at the Serpentine spanning the years 1981to 2014.
Craig-Martin has been making his crisply-delineated drawings of common-place, manufactured objects since the late 1970s and has assembled a lexicon of archetypes. In On Being an Artist he explains that he chose "objects so familiar that they had become invisible" and he set himself a rule  that "I would never draw something that could not be recognised instantly". (p171)  However, along the way many of those consumer objects which were once so familiar have become obsolete as new technologies and social habits have emerged. Transience charts a cultural transition from the days of clipboards, portable TVs, audio cassette tapes and Palm Pilots to the digital world of laptops, smart cards and smart phones - all rendered in his signature black outlines and clashing hyperactive colours.
Read reviews by Adrian Searle, Alastair Sooke, Laura Cumming and Waldemar Januszczak.
Read an interview with Tim Adams on the occasion of the publication of On Being an Artist. (Click on images to enlarge.)
Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled battery), 2014

Michael Craig-Martin, Cassette, 2002
Michael Craig-Martin, Eye of the Storm, 2002
Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (watch), 2015
Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (xbox control), 2014
Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (iPhone purple), 2013
Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (laptop turquoise), 2014
Michael Craig-Martin, Biding Time (magenta), 2004
Michael Craig-Martin, installation view of Transience, Serpentine Gallery 2015-16

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