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Mar

06

By:

Taylor Zakarin


Michael Craig-Martin (Irish, born 1941)
Untitled (umbrella), 2014
Acrylic on aluminum
48 × 48 inches
Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection

 


Michael Craig-Martin (Irish, born 1941)
Untitled (headphones), 2014
Acrylic on aluminum
48 × 48 inches
Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection

 

Michael Craig-Martin (b.1941) once said – “I wanted the viewer to see the picture and not me.” The two works by the artist that we have on view at NorthPark are very indicative of that intention – with the precision of his lines and the smoothness of the paint, Craig Martin seems to eliminate any indexical referent to the artists hand, leaving the viewer to just look at the image or object.

Michael Craig-Martin was educated at Yale University, graduating with a degree in fine art. He became one of the central figures of the British conceptual art scene in the 1960s, and was an instructor at Goldsmith’s College School of Art. At Goldsmiths, Craig-Martin influenced a generation of students now known as the Young British Artists, including figures such as Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas. The artist’s work consistently examines the relationship between recognizable objects and their representation. He states, “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.”  These works, Untitled (umbrella) and Untitled (headphones), are painted with acrylic on aluminum panels. Michael Craig-Martin draws the object silhouettes digitally, and then uses paint rollers and thin tape to achieve the crisp delineated lines on the aluminum surface. He uses unexpected, incongruous colors when depicting these objects, influenced both by Josef Albers’ color theory and his own interest in subverting ones typical conception and understanding of the objects at hand.

Though, as I mentioned above, Craig-Martin has an interest in effectively removing “the artist” from his art, his body of work is so recognizable that his personality becomes inherently a part of the viewing experience.
 


Untitled (umbrella) and Untitled (headphones) are loved by our shoppers, particularly in contrast to Andy Warhol’s Myths, just across Macy’s Court. The two artists placed together in one room create a dialogue about pop art, particularly as it relates to representation of recognizable figures and objects.

Michael Craig-Martin is widely exhibited throughout the world, including solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Arp Museum in Remagen, Germany. His work has been collected by Harvard University, The Arts Council of Great Britain, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Tate, and others.

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