I can't remember when Michael and I first met - maybe the late 70s or early 80s - but it wasn't until 1990 that we collaborated on our first print project and, since then, there has barely been a pause in his printmaking activity. Back in the day his intentionally "styleless" rendering of everyday objects seemed to lend itself perfectly to the linear accuracy of screenprinting and so it was that the Order of Appearance set of four prints came into existence - a depiction of four mundane objects, each one of which rose to the forefront of the composition as one moved from sheet to sheet. So, we started with screenprint but, over the past thirty years he has expanded the repertoire of his editions to include digital printing, etching, computer animations, light boxes and, most recently, metal reliefs.
The works highlighted below include his first use of multiple colours in print in the form of Japanese Screen, a triptych made in 1996. Craig-Martin did not use a range of colours in his work until the mid-1990s. After this breakthrough, his approach was to use the most vibrant but unmodulated palette and this continues to apply right up to the present. Other projects include outlines of familiar objects overlaid with a single letter, prints of famous art historical paintings such as Georges Seurat's Bathers at Asnières, 1884, the configuration of renowned designer objects with twentieth-century paintings and sculptures and the depiction of different sized sports balls arranged to match the order of the planetary constellation.
Over the past few years Craig-Martin has also turned his attention specifically to iconic modernist architecture of the twentieth century, paying homage to the famous buildings and furniture designed by figures such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. For his newest body of work, Craig-Martin depicts iconic chairs in polished steel. Illustrated below is Mies van der Rohe's chair designed in 2019. This is Craig-Martin's first venture into editioned metal reliefs.
Today Craig-Martin and his instantly recognisable visual language is celebrated around the world with major retrospectives, high-profile commissions whilst numerous honours, including a knighthood, have been added to his name. The projects I have selected below, are just some of my personal highlights from our collaboration over the past thirty years.
The illustrated works are priced between £750 and £10,000. Please contact [email protected] for further information.
Film: Michael Craig-Martin
About the artist
About Michael Craig-Martin
Michael Craig-Martin, one of the most influential artists and teachers of his generation, was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1941 and educated in the United States where he studied at Yale University. He returned to Europe in the mid-1960s and was a key figure in the first generation of British conceptual artists. As a tutor at Goldsmith's College from 1974-1988 and 1994-2000, he had a significant influence on two generations of young British artists. (Photo: Mike Hoban)
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