Michael Craig-Martin b. 1941

Provenance

Private Collection, UK

Description

History, a set of four screenprints published in 2001, reconfigured designs that Craig-Martin had conceived for the room-sized wall painting Store Room in the exhibition Intelligence at Tate Britain a year earlier. In these he proposed an equivalence between ordinary objects depicted in his own earlier works (a fire extinguisher, a pair of sunglasses, a battery powered drill) with equally prosaic items (‘found objects’) borrowed from signature works by celebrated modern artists that he admired: Duchamp’s drying rack, Magritte’s wine glass, Man Ray’s iron, Warhol’s sickle and Johns’s can with paint brushes. Each of the bisected objects picked out in lurid colours against a restrained background in black and white matches up with it other half in the next print, forming a continuous frieze and a notional enclosed square or circle if hung end to end so that the fourth print links up with the first. In their very form these prints speak of the self-renewing capacity of art and the chain of influence that links an artist to his chosen predecessors. In these works, the history of modern art is presented as a world complete in itself and capable of endless regeneration.

Marco Livingstone, Michael-Craig Martin, Prints, Alan Cristea London, exhibition catalogue, 2004, p.7