Michael Craig-Martin

Michael Craig-Martin is among the most influential conceptual artists in the world. His iconic, candy-coloured paintings and sculptures of everyday objects investigate semiotic relationships between objects and images as perceived by humans and interpreted in language and communication. His main mediums include painting and sculpture. He often integrates ready-mades into his sculptural works, inspired by the American Minimalist tradition. This is illustrated in one of his most famous pieces, An Oak Tree from 1973 – a poetic work with a glass of water on a glass ledge with a text claiming it is in fact an oak tree in an altered physical form.

“It was a distillation of everything I had been thinking about for years. It was one of those rare occasions when it said everything I wanted to say.”, says the artist.

Born in 1941 in Dublin, Ireland, Craig-Martin received a rigorous religious education in a Roman Catholic school run by nuns and later the equally strict English Benedictine Priory School. It was here that he received his first glimpse into art history by one of the priests, who was himself an artist and dedicated a lecture to Mark Rothko.

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