Michael Craig-Martin: Stylised Everyday

A bold and stylised selection of paintings by British artist Michael Craig-Martin probes the relationship between objects and images.

The perceptual tension between object, representation and language has been Craig-Martin’s central concern over the last four decades. During the late 1970s, he began to transcribe everyday items into ‘pictorial readymades’ directly onto gallery walls, and since the 1990s onto canvas in conjunction with vivid artificial colour. His drawings, paintings, and monumental steel sculptures are representations in the truest sense of the word, conveying familiar subjects as concisely as possible and thereby inviting each viewer’s personal response.

“I started making drawings of ordinary objects, one at a time, in 1977. I drew them on A4 paper with a pencil and then traced them in very fine tape onto acetate to remove all trace of their being handmade. I had no idea where they might take me, and it would have been inconceivable to me that they would remain at the centre of my work to this day. I intended them to be ‘styleless’, but over the years the way they look has come to be recognisable as my style,” said Craig-Martin.

Recent paintings on aluminium panels, some larger than two metres, depict a new range of contemporary objects. The simplest object can become iconic. The amplified archetypes may lure the viewer into associations with his or her own corkscrew, headphones, or prescription pills.

Craig-Martin’s latest works are on display at Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong, China until Saturday 16 August 2014.

www.michaelcraigmartin.co.uk

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