The year is young but the Hayward Gallery’s new survey of Turner Prize-winning installation artist Martin Creed looks to be a 2014 highlight. This is a diverse portfolio of conceptual pieces from one of the art Establishment’s most celebrated names, comprising room-sized installations, neon sculptures, sound-art, paintings and prints.
Creed’s work is minimalist in style and famed for dividing reviewers: his 2001 Turner piece Work No. 227 The lights going on and off is perhaps his most renowned: an empty room illuminated at 5-second intervals, which received an egging at the hands of anti-Establishment vandals (fearing the downfall of the discipline of painting) in its maiden Tate exhibition.
There’s a strong element of ‘does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ with Creed’s pieces. Since 1987 he has titled each work descriptively alongside a simple, numbered system of notation. Alongside Creed’s bigger, room-filling works you’ll see, for example, such pieces as 1993’s Work No. 79 Some Blu-Tack kneaded, rolled into a ball, and depressed against a wall and 1995’s Work No. 88 A sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball.
These pieces, which seem at first to be simply constructed, belie a wry, deadpan wit and an ingenious approach to object making. Over the years these have earned Creed a reputation as one of Britain’s most important contemporary artists – as well as large swathes of outrage from the tabloid press.
Creed’s work as a musician and composer is less well-known, but the Hayward has commendably chosen to underline its importance to his oeuvre. Alongside his recent sonic/visual fusion piece Work No. 1197 All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes (a performance commissioned to mark the opening of the 2012 London Olympics), we can expect to hear a new instrumental commission to mark the refurbishment of the organ in the neighbouring Royal Festival Hall. Titled ‘Face to Face with Bach’, this will premiere in the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 30 March.
Given his illustrious career we’re surprised this major exhibition hasn’t come sooner. Hot on the heels of December’s wonderful twin Dayanita Singh/Ana Mendieta showcases, this retrospective promises to extend what has been for the Hayward a formidable recent run.
Address and map: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
Nearest tube: Waterloo
|What||Martin Creed: What's the Point of It? Hayward Gallery|
|Where||Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
29 Jan 14 – 05 May 14, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|