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In 1973 Michael Craig-Martin exhibited a glass of water on a shelf, together with a printed text, and called the work An Oak Tree. As the text explained, the artist had changed the glass of water into an oak tree. More than thirty years later, Craig-Martin creates along with screen-savers, works on LCD monitors and conventional paintings – gloriously colourful environments with blown-up outline images of domestic objects.
The conceptual and the rigorously material have been central to the artist’s complex development across four decades of work that is both intellectually demanding and austerely beautiful. At the same time Craig-Martin achieved an almost legendary status as a teacher at Goldsmiths, where he encouraged, among many others, Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas.
Richly illustrated with works and environments filmed in Bregenz and Dublin, as well as at notable exhibitions in England, this film profile outlines the career of one of today’s most innovative and influential artists.