Michael Craig-Martin: Surfacing


24 September - 21 November 2004

In the gallery Craig-Martin presented a selection of new work made specifically for the exhibition. Known for his sweeping, brightly coloured canvases that depict a repertoire of everyday objects, his art is one of maximum economy and maximum impact. Central to his work is the act of drawing and an investigation of line, space and form. Transcribing these images onto the painting’s surface using a distinctive black tape, the painted objects flicker between foreground and background, between line and image.

The everyday objects, invariably have a practical use; a drawer that opens, a chair to be sat on or a shoe awaiting its owner’s foot. All suggest a form of human interaction which is forever absent.

In an intriguing new departure, Craig-Martin showed works based on two major paintings in Western art history – Piero della Francesca’s The Flagellation (1452) and Georges Seurat’s The Bathers at Asnières (1884). Here he deconstructed and redrew them in order to create new paintings, replacing the original colour with his familiar vivid palette.

A striking new work that took the form of specially printed black and white wallpaper was also shown. This pull towards the domestic was echoed in the selection of images that erupted across the wall surface, such as chairs, light bulbs, and shoes. Colour was introduced through the placement of eleven smaller canvases that mapped the same motif as the wallpaper, and transformed the plane of the wall into a three-dimensional relief.

Press Release