In this bold painting by Michael Craig-Martin, ordinary objects are depicted against a coloured background, neither touching nor overlapping one another. These discrete images appear unrelated to each other conceptually as well as compositionally: what exactly links a bunch of keys with a chair? The disparity of scale adds to our sense that the artist's choice of objects was arbitrary. Craig-Martin typically works with a restricted (but vivid) palette of colours and repertoire of images. He views his works as "pictorial readymades", referring to the practice of elevating ordinary objects to the status of "Art", simply by virtue of having been selected by the artist.
A hugely influential figure in the art world, Michael Craig-Martin was born in Dublin, grew up in the United States, and has lived in Britain since 1966. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1989. His exhibitions have included large-scale wall drawings in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and wall paintings at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He is widely acknowledged for his influence as a teacher at Goldsmiths’ College in London, where he has taught since the early 1970s and where Young British Artists’ Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas number among his former pupils. Craig-Martin is Professor Emeritus of Fine Art at Goldsmiths; has been a Trustee of the Tate since1989, and was made a CBE in 2001.
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