English sculptor, installation artist and conceptual artist. He studied in London at the Slade School of Fine Art, graduating in 1990. His work plays on definitions of art, using techniques reminiscent of those employed by Marcel Duchamp in his presentation of objects and ideas. Work #11 (1989; AC England Col.), consisting of two bronze objects, served as the basis for photographs of these objects in various situations: on a bar, in a dentist's surgery, amongst Christmas decorations and in a dishwasher (Work #43, 1990–96; see 2000 exh. cat.). It is the placement of the objects, rather than their intrinsic qualities, that qualifies their meaning. In Work #79 (1993; see 2000 exh. cat.), a piece of Blu-Tack is rolled into a ball and depressed against a wall: the slightness of the gesture and its humorous inadequacy as a constructed object calls into question the nature of sculpture. In 1994 Creed formed a band called Owada, which he used as a parallel forum to his visual art practice. One of his best-known visual works, Work #200–202 (exh. New York, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, 1998), known as Half the Air in a Given Space, consists of a gallery half-filled with balloons, creating a physical experience for the visitor of what that volume of air actually feels like. Creed also displayed slogans in the form of neon signs; the phrase ‘the whole world + the work = the whole world', was emblazoned on the façade of Tate Britain in 2000.
Martin Creed: the Whole World + the Work = the Whole World (exh. cat. by J. O'Reilly, Geneva, Gal. Analix-B. & L. Polla; London, Karsten Schubert; 1996)
MartinCreedWorks, (exh. cat., Southampton, C. A. G., 2000)
CATHERINE M. GRANT
10 December 2000