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Michael Craig Martin - Less Is More

August 21, 2013 by Kay


After working for a number of years in London with concrete objects, in 1977 Craig-Martin began to formulate a visual vocabulary of everyday things - a project that has continued to this day. The vocabulary consists of outline drawings of objects done from photographs he takes; the artist calls them “pictorial readymades”. This concept addresses the underlying question of how far a depiction of an object actually represents it - and refers back to the critique of the image undertaken by the Belgian artist René Magritte. Craig-Martin took a decisive step in 1993 when he began to colour in his drawings. Unlike the largely neutral and restricted approach adopted in the outline drawings, in which he merely altered the dimensions, every imaginable freedom was now opened up to him in the choice of colours.

The exhibition consists of a series of seventeen paintings in highly varied formats, which have been devised and painted specially for Haus Esters. They all show everyday objects that can be found in domestic settings - personal articles like a man's shirt, a woman's shoe, a bike helmet, an iPhone - along with objects that are normal items in a home: seats, a lightbulb, a padlock, a soup can. As such, the artist returns Museum Haus Esters to its original function as a residential home. With the presentation of these objects, he allows the viewer to imagine the villa as something living and inhabited. And in a way that extends even beyond the interior of the building into the garden, where Craig-Martin has installed two over-sized transparent sculptures - a fork and a garden gate.

A catalogue will appear during the course of the exhibition (probably early June) which will give a full documentation.

Michael Craig-Martin Pitchfork (pink), 2008 Steel, 350 x 56cm Collection Martinspeed © M. Craig-Martin, courtesy Gagosian Gallery Installation view Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld 2013