22 September - 23 October 2004

Michael Craig-Martin

The Alan Cristea Gallery is holding a major exhibition of new work by the influential artist Michael Craig-Martin.

The exhibition consists of two new series of works. The first is a series of screenprints based on two major paintings in Western art history - Pierso della Francesca's The Flagellation (1452) and Georges Seurat's The Bathers at Asnieres (1884). Craig-Martin has deconstructed each of these paintings and then redrawn them to his own familiar style and palette. In each case the composition is split like a diptych, with one panel showing just the landscape and the other the figures. He has depicted them to the same way he would delineate a fork or a tin opener; it is at once a process of liberation and objectification forcing the viewer into reappraise the image and its composition.

The second series entitled Folio, is a portfolio of twelve prints. Craig-Martin focuses here on the changes he was noticed during the years in which he has featured commonplace objects as motifs. Each print juxtaposes an everyday object with a so-called 'designer' object (mobile phone, trainer etc.). The portfolio reflects his feelings about the changing nature of consumerism and fashion. What were once very contemporary images now look nostalgic, even old-fashioned. Conversely, what first appeared to be luxury items at the cutting edge of technology have now acquired the status of ordinary, if expensive, objects.

The exhibition coincides with the artist's one-man exhibition at the Milton Keynes Gallery and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

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