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Show of new and recent works by Michael Craig-Martin opens at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul
Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (light bulb fragment), 2015, Acrylic on aluminium, 200 x 200 cm. © Michael Craig-Martin. Courtesy Gagosian. Photo: Mike Bruce.

SEOUL.- Gallery Hyundai is presenting All in All, an exhibition of new and recent paintings by Michael Craig-Martin. Featuring acrylic on aluminium works, this is the second solo show for the Irish-British artist at the gallery.

Minimalism, Pop Art and Conceptual Art became significant influences upon Craig-Martin during his time studying at Yale University School of Art and Architecture in the early 1960s. He returned to London and had his first major solo exhibition there at Rowan Gallery in 1969. His early work explicitly questions the nature of art and representation through a variety of objects and materials. A seminal piece of this period is An Oak Tree, 1973, a glass of water on a shelf with text declaring that the glass is, in fact, an oak tree.

In the late 1970s, the artist began to make line drawings of ordinary everyday objects, characterised by their boldly outlined motifs and vivid colours. These simplified depictions explore the possibilities of new meanings of familiar visual symbols, creating over the years an ever-expanding vocabulary of images and forming the foundation of his work. During the 1990s, his focus shifted decisively to painting, rendering unexpected combinations in both works on canvas and complex wall paintings. Craig-Martin is a key figure in British conceptual art and has had a resounding influence on the Young British Artists (YBAs) having taught Gary Hume, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, and Damien Hirst during his career at Goldsmith’s College, London, from 1974-1988.

In this exhibition, Craig-Martin’s paintings continue to depict a series of common objects found in daily life, prompting the viewer to contemplate their form and function. These items, including a cell phone, corkscrew, laptop, lightbulb, memory stick, sunglasses, and umbrella, are composed of precise black outlines and vibrant colours. They appear alone, fragmented or grouped, as the artist uses composition to explore spatial relationships by juxtaposing and layering colour.

Michael Craig-Martin (b. 1941, Dublin) lives and works in London. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions and galleries worldwide including: Transience, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2015); NOW, Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Shanghai, China (2015, travelled to Hubei Art Museum, China); Chatsworth House, Bakewell, UK (2014); Less Is Still More, Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany (2013); Michael Craig-Martin, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2006); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2000); and Michael Craig-Martin: A retrospective 1968-1989, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK (1989). He has participated in group exhibitions including: Fragile, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy (2013); Eye on Europe, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2006); Raised Awareness, Tate Modern, London, UK (2005); and The New Art, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (1972). His work was included in the Sao Paolo Biennale in 2010, the Istanbul Biennial in 2009, the Shanghai Biennale in 2006 and the Sydney Biennale in 1990. Work by the artist is represented in permanent collections internationally including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Tate, London, UK; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain. Craig-Martin was an Artist Trustee of Tate from 1989-1999 and was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2006. In 2016 he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to art.

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