MICHAEL CRAIG-MARTIN

مايكل كريغ مارتن
迈克尔·克雷格·马丁
מיכאל קרייג מרטין
マイケル·クレイグ·マーティン
마이클 크레이그 마틴

source: culchinacomcn

自1912年起,历届奥运会的主办城市都会委托艺术家创作一幅或多幅海报,以庆祝成为奥运会东道主。残奥会于斯托克曼德维尔首次举办以来,也秉承了这个传统。这一次,伦敦奥组委委托12位英国顶尖艺术家,为2012年伦敦奥运会和残奥会分别创作6幅海报。日前,伦敦奥运海报的设计者之一、英国艺术家迈克尔·克雷格·马丁来华参加“伦敦2012——奥运海报展”,并在位于北京的尤伦斯艺术中心接受了记者的采访。

迈克尔·克雷格曾在美国耶鲁大学学习绘画,上世纪60年代初的纽约艺术界充满活力,令他接触到很多不一样的东西和一些先锋艺术家。1974年,迈克尔·克雷格回到英国从教。“最开始,我没想过要当老师,但年轻的艺术家需要糊口,我的生活来源就是教书。”好在“那时候英国教育体系较为自由,允许我以自己的方式教学生”。迈克尔·克雷格的教学理念和教学模式受到了业内人士的高度评价,人们认为他对英国20世纪90年代的艺术界产生了重要影响。

迈克尔·克雷格凭借清新明快的设计风格为人所熟知。在早期创作中,迈克尔·克雷格常采用日常用品和材料探索艺术和再现的本质。他运用了美纹胶带、霓虹灯、油漆等大型墙面装饰所不常用到的工具来设计墙面,最近还加入了电脑动画。

伦敦奥组委希望把奥运会与文化艺术结合起来,迈克尔·克雷格接下委托任务后,浏览了历年来所有的奥运海报。他认为,创作海报的难点在于“它既是艺术又是海报”。“伦敦2012——奥运海报展”展出了拥有广泛背景的艺术家们各具特色的作品,诠释了他们心中的奥运精神和奥运文化。迈克尔·克雷格希望大家去现场亲自看看,因为“每个人都会有自己不同的理解”。

值得一提的是,迈克尔·克雷格的曾祖母是中国人,他拥有1/4的中国血统,其祖父母也都出生在中国。因此,他对中国有一种特别的感受。“很多中国人对艺术感兴趣,很多年轻人在学习艺术。”迈克尔·克雷格表示,在艺术这个行当,热情比技术重要。“中国的学生比较强调传统技术基础,但其实技术可教,热情不可教,过分追求技术反而会带来束缚。如果有表达热情的愿望,不妨尝试在实践中学习。”

声称自己“13岁时决定成为一个艺术家,一辈子没干过别的”的迈克尔·克雷格强调,年轻人必须树立信心、坚持理想。“人们总是轻视那些自己能做好的事,觉得自己做不好的事情才重要。其实,你做不好的事情,肯定有其他人能够做得很好——每个人都有属于自己的特长,放心去做自己喜欢的、擅长的事情就好。”(陈璐 文/图)
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source: pkmgallery

마이클 크레이그-마틴(Michael Craig-Martin) 개인전
2009년 2월 26일 – 2009년 3월 31일

피케이엠 트리니티 갤러리는 2009년 2월 26일부터 3월 31일까지 가장 영향력 있는 영국 개념미술 1세대 작가 마이클 크레이그-마틴(1941년생)의 개인전을 개최한다.

이번 마이클 크레이그-마틴 개인전에서는 일상의 사물을 독특한 방식으로 재구성하는 그의 작품 세계가 반영된 최신작 중 평면화 약 20점과 15미터에 달하는 대형 벽화 1점이 국내에서 처음으로 소개된다. 작가는 의자, 전구, 신발, 커피포트 등 일상생활 속에서 흔히 볼 수 있는 평범하고 익숙한 대량생산물들을 몇 개의 단순한 선과 순도 높은 원색을 사용하여 특별하고 매력적인 대상으로 바꾸어 놓음으로써 친근하면서도 낯선 화면을 구성한다. 마젠타나 초록, 터키석 블루나 빨강과 같은 강렬한 색의 평면 위에 그만큼 선명한 주황색 의자나 청색과 녹색 소화기, 자주색 전구 등을 배치하여 독특한 대비와 조화를 꾀하고 있는 그의 작품은 관객에게 즉각적인 시각적 체험의 기회를 제공하는 한편 물리적 사물에 대한 인간의 인식 능력과 해석의 욕구 문제를 되돌아보게 하는 성찰의 도구가 되고 있다. 일상적인 대량생산물을 소재로 하되 각 사물에서 공통적인 성질을 추려내어 대표적이고 보편적인 형상으로 환원시켜 묘사하고 있는 마이클 크레이그-마틴의 작품은 사물 자체보다는 사물에 대한 개념에 집중하고 관객을 작품의 의미 형성에 적극적으로 참여시킨다는 점에서 팝아트와 미니멀리즘 그리고 개념미술과의 연계를 고려하게 한다.

제 1세대 영국 개념미술의 대표주자인 마이클 크레이그-마틴은 아일랜드 더블린에서 태어나 미국 예일대학에서 순수미술을 전공한 후 1960년경부터 유럽에서 활동했으며 특히 1974년에서 1988년까지 그리고 1994년에서 2000년까지 영국 골드스미스 대학 교수로 재임하는 동안 오늘날 세계적인 작가로 부상한 데미안 허스트를 비롯한 영국의 젊은 예술가(Young British Artists) 그룹의 작가들을 지도함으로써 영국 현대미술의 비약적인 발전에 기여한 핵심인물 가운데 한 명으로 2001년에는 미술 발전에 대한 이러한 공로를 인정받아 영국 여왕으로부터 대영제국훈장인 CBE (Commander of the British Empire)를 받은 바 있다. 마이클 크레이그-마틴을 미술계의 정점에 서게 한 그의 1970년대 작품인 ‘참나무(An Oak Tree)’는 갤러리 벽면에 사물 자체에 우선하는 작가의 의도를 선언한 텍스트와 함께 물이 담긴 1개의 유리잔을 올려놓은 선반을 설치한 것으로 영국 개념미술의 전환점으로 평가되고 있다. 이후 작가는 다양한 매체의 조각 설치 작품을 제작했으며 1990년경부터 뚜렷한 윤곽선과 화려한 색상의 일상용품들이 등장하는 평면화 또는 벽화 작업에 주력하고 있다. 그의 작품은 뉴욕 MoMA, 런던 테이트 갤러리, 더블린의 IMMA, 오스트리아 국립미술관을 비롯한 세계 유수의 미술관과 박물관에서 소장하고 있으며, 런던의 리전스 플레이스 건물 외관을 비롯하여 베를린의 영국문화원과 그린위치의 라반댄스센터 건물 내부 벽면과 천정 일부는 그의 대형 작품으로 꾸며져 있다. 최근 작가는 런던의 가고시안 갤러리, 베를린의 하스&푸크스 갤러리, 동경의 모리아트뮤지엄 등 세계 정상급의 갤러리에서 개인전과 그룹전을 가졌으며 지난 1월에는 런던 DLR(Docklands Light Railway) 전동열차 울위치아스날 역 출입구 벽면에 핸드폰, 열쇠, 책, 음료수 캔과 같은 생활용품을 프린트한 2000여개의 타일 작업을 새롭게 선보인 것을 계기로 타임즈온라인으로부터 ‘소소하고 일상적인 사물의 신(A god of small and ordinary things)’이라는 극찬을 듣고 있다. 이번 개인전 오프닝 참석차 방한하는 작가는 서울을 시작으로 올 한해동안 북경, 베를린, 이스탄불에서 신작 중심의 전시를 가질 예정이다.
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source: michaelcraigmartin

Michael Craig-Martin was born in Dublin Ireland in 1941. He grew up and was educated in the United States, studying Fine Art at the Yale University School of Art. He came to Britain on completion of his studies in 1966, and has lived and worked there ever since.

His first solo exhibition was at the Rowan Gallery, London in 1969. He participated in the definitive exhibition of British conceptual art, “The New Art” at the Hayward Gallery in 1972. Throughout his career, through work in many different media, he has explored the expressive potential of commonplace objects and images. His best known works include An oak tree of 1973, in which he claimed to have changed a glass of water into an oak tree; his large-scale black and white wall drawings; and his intensely coloured paintings, installations, and public commissions.

Craig-Martin is well known to have been an influential teacher at the Goldsmiths College London, and is considered a key figure in the emergence of the young British artists in the early 90′s. Amongst his former students are Ian Davenport, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Liam Gillick, Sarah Lucas, Julian Opie, and Fiona Rae.
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source: gagosian

Michael Craig-Martin was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated in the United States, studying fine art at Yale University. He returned to Europe in the mid-1960s, becoming one of the key figures in the first generation of British conceptual artists. He was a professor at Goldsmith’s College from 1974–88 and 1994–2000, where he remained a powerful influence on the emerging British artists.

His early work made deliberate reference to the American artists he most admired, such as Donald Judd, Jasper Johns and Robert Morris. Although he was particularly affected by Minimalism and used ordinary household materials in his sculptures, playing against the logic of his sources. In the early 1970s, he exhibited his now seminal piece An Oak Tree, consisting of a glass of water standing on a shelf attached to the gallery wall. In the accompanying text, he asked himself questions to assert that the glass was in fact an oak tree. Craig-Martin continued working in various forms, always maintaining an elegant restraint and conceptual clarity. During the 1990s the focus of his work shifted decisively to painting, with the same range of boldly outlined motifs and luridly vivid colour schemes in unexpected (and at times apparently arbitrary) combinations applied both to works on canvas, and to increasingly complex installations of wall paintings.

Craig-Martin’s work is in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Tate Gallery, London. He has recent retrospectives at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2006–07) and Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2006), and has permanent large-scale installations at Regents Place, London and The Laban Center, Greenwich, a collaboration with architects Herzog and DeMeuron.
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source: theguardian

One evening, Michael Craig-Martin was driving along, listening to an absorbing discussion of contemporary art on Radio 4. “The guy who was talking was making some excellent points, but there were a few things I disagreed with. It only occurred to me after a long, long time that the voice on the radio was mine. I had to pull over because my heart was pounding.”

What kind of person, you’ll be asking, doesn’t recognise their own voice? The kind of person who was born in Dublin, did toddler time in London, but spent most of his formative years in Washington DC, where he acquired a US twang. This still endures despite the fact he returned here in 1966 and became so synonymous with revolutionising the art scene that he’s known as the godfather of the Young British Artists. “The weird thing is I don’t even think I have an American accent.”

It’s a great story and almost a metaphor for Craig-Martin’s vision of art. When he started drawing as a teenager in Washington, what struck him was how an image took on a life of its own, distant from the idea its creator had in their head – just as Craig-Martin’s radio voice became an alien phenomenon coming at him over the airwaves.

“People call me a conceptual artist, as if the idea was all, but actually what interests me is what happens when the idea becomes a thing. Ideas are by their nature generalisations, something that can be applied to lots of things. But making art is about making particulars, and that particular something can be the generator of a generalisation.”

Why do you care about this stuff? “When I was 12, I thought I had stumbled on a gold mine, but nobody around me seemed to care about it.” What little Michael had stumbled across, looking at reproductions of modern art, was a new vision introduced by Marcel Duchamp (who put a urinal in a gallery) and elaborated on by later artists. “Radical art – and I’ve always thought of myself as radical – is always at the frontiers, always speculative, always too radical to be really understood initially. It changes your frame of reference. That’s what Duchamp did.”

It’s also what Craig-Martin’s most celebrated work of art did and does. An Oak Tree, from 1973, consists of a glass of water on a shelf in an otherwise empty gallery. “I was trying to work out what was the essence of a work of art. I thought it had to do with suspension of disbelief. You get it in theatre – why not in art?” When An Oak Tree was bought by the National Gallery of Australia in 1977, customs officials initially (and wonderfully) barred it from entry because it was “vegetation”. A rare example of life imitating conceptual art.

But, I suggest, there is another vision of art. Not one that is speculative, but one that is reassuring. Isn’t it reassuring to capture the human spirit on paper, to make works that are beautiful? “None of that interested me. As I came across modern art, I knew the only thing to be was an artist. To do that, the only thing to do was drawing. So I took life-drawing classes. It was mostly middle-aged women and me.” What did you get from them? “Irritation. The presumption that life drawing underlies everything in art is fundamentally conservative.”

A man with no style

A retrospective of Craig-Martin’s drawings opens today at the Alan Cristea Gallery in London. Visitors expecting something akin to Watteau’s immensely touching drawings – which are on display nearby at the Royal Academy, and show an artist seizing in chalk the essence of his human subjects while also expressing his own personality – will be confounded. There’s scarcely a human in Craig-Martin’s show, and every image is intended to obliterate rather than express the artist’s personality. “I’ve always wanted to make drawings that were absolutely style-less,” says Craig-Martin.

After graduating with an MA in fine art from Yale, Craig-Martin began to draw mass-produced objects: sandals, sardine cans, milk bottles. “I thought the objects we value least because they were ubiquitous were actually the most extraordinary.” He gave up pencils and used crepe masking tape to produce ostensibly style-less drawings of them. Why? “I wanted to remove my hand from the process of drawing. I drew them without personal inflection.” But isn’t art about expression? “That’s not what interested me. I was interested in how form followed function. Take a bucket: it can’t be twice the size it is because if you filled it up, it would be too heavy to carry. The handle is in a certain place because if it was bigger, the side would hit your leg.”

Increasingly, though, the form of manufactured objects does not follow their function. “Think of a mobile phone. You used to have a receiver with a defined earpiece and mouthpiece. Now you just have a box. Today everything looks like everything else. A phone looks like a computer looks like a camera.”

There’s a risk, then, that this retrospective will look like a graveyard of once-ubiquitous objects. “True. You think objects are for ever, but mass-produced objects only came in with the industrial revolution and maybe won’t exist for much longer. The irony is that much of what I set out to draw, everyday objects, are curios. Milk bottles, who uses them? So the images become something other than I intended.” What was the intention? “I wanted people to realise how extraordinary everyday objects are, and think about what image-making is. The impulse was never nostalgia, kitsch or a critique of consumerism.”

There is a deeper irony. In his very effort to be style-less, Craig-Martin created a style, and a style that made him bankable. Those drawings and paintings where everyday objects outlined in black tape float out of bright red, yellow or blue backgrounds? Craig-Martin. A glass of water on a shelf? Craig-Martin. “Style is something you impute to a body of work. It looks like a linear trail, but while I was doing it all it was haphazard.”

The anti-art era

Another irony is that his austere, quasi-philosophical art investigations are delightful in themselves, as if his images have indeed taken on a life of their own. One drawing in the new show is called Manhattan: in it, filing cabinet, ice-cube tray, a torch and other everyday objects assemble like a cityscape; another, Tropical Waters, has gun, lightbulb, can opener and other objects swirling like fish.

Craig-Martin never thought his kind of art would be popular. He casts his mind back to 1972, when the Hayward put on a show of British conceptualism called The New Art. “At the time, the people who cared about this stuff were just me and some artist friends. Art objects were deemed crazy and unintelligible, with people dismissing them because of what they read, not what they saw. There was practically no interest in art. Any press attention was vilification. I thought it would always be like this. But now people look to art rather than to theatre as a cultural model – an extraordinary change.”

Isn’t he responsible for that change? That, at least, is the story: in the 1980s, as an art teacher at London’s Goldsmiths, Craig-Martin created and nurtured that generation of British artists who would transform one of the most visually conservative, anti-art cultures into one that was, and remains, art-crazy. “People think I gave Damien, Tracey and all the others career information. To say I did underestimates them. They were all beneficiaries of some tremendous art education that existed in British art schools from the 60s to the 80s, but they all knew those days were nearly over and that they couldn’t do what I did as an artist, which was to fall back into teaching.

“They also knew they couldn’t do what lots of artists have done – go on the dole. There was no dole. They knew the only way to survive was through their work. They had a sense that there was somebody out there to speak to, and started to work with the idea of an audience before there was an audience.” Wasn’t that Thatcherite entrepreneurialism? “It was more generous. The art world is usually a cruel place. I wouldn’t recommend anyone going into it unless there’s something here.” He pats his chest. “With the YBAs, I saw a generosity I’d never witnessed before. When a collector came to a studio, the artist would say, ‘Do you know so-and-so’s work?’ And if the collector said no, the artist would take them round to so and so’s studio. It was a magical time.”

Didn’t you feel jealous of their success? “Of course! I remember Damien showing Charles Saatchi his idea for a shark in his notebook, and Saatchi saying, ‘I’ll pay for that.’ There was nothing like that level of interest – or money – for my generation. In the 80s, only the Lisson Gallery was interested in new art. One gallery! Now there are 40 or 50.” And you’ve benefited from that? “Sure. In lean times, I used to say yes to every commission – just in case there wouldn’t be any more. Now I don’t have to.”

Craig-Martin works six days a week. He’s currently producing works for an outdoor sculpture show that opens this month at the New Art Centre in Wiltshire, and curating a room at the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition. Why work so hard? “I’m 70 this year, and I’m conscious that everything seems to be working physically, that my energy is there. But I’m trying to accomplish as much as I can because at some point I know that won’t be the case. When you’re 30 or 40, you don’t think about it ending, about falling apart or dying. I do, so that’s why I work hard.”

• Michael Craig-Martin: Drawings 1967-2002 is at Alan Cristea Gallery, London W1, until 4 June. Details: 020-7439 1866.
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source: tateorguk

Irish sculptor and painter, active in England. He moved to the USA with his family in 1945 and studied painting at Yale University, CT (1961–3; 1964–6).

In 1966 Craig-Martin moved to England to teach, and he eventually taught from 1973 at Goldsmiths College in London, where he remained a powerful influence on students through the 1980s and 1990s. His early work made deliberate reference to the American artists he most admired, such as Donald Judd, Jasper Johns and Robert Morris. Although he was particularly affected by Minimalism and used ordinary household materials in his sculptures, he played against the logic of his sources; in Four Identical Boxes with Lids Reversed (painted blockboard, 1969; London, Tate), for example, he created a curious progression by slicing into four identical boxes at different angles and then exchanging their halves.
Craig-Martin continued working in various forms, always maintaining an elegant restraint and conceptual clarity. During the 1990s the focus of his work shifted decisively to painting, with the same range of boldly outlined motifs and luridly vivid colour schemes in unexpected (and at times apparently arbitrary) combinations applied both to works on canvas, such as Knowing (1996; London, Tate) and to increasingly complex installations of wall paintings. For his one-man exhibition at the Kunstverein Hannover in 1998, Craig-Martin transformed the galleries into a series of environments of luscious colour, onto which he painted his characteristic motifs of tables, chairs and stepladders and also hung paintings, reliefs and wall-mounted sculptures.