ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— This summer, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) presents Feelings, the first North American survey of the work of British artist Martin Creed. Curated by CCS Bard curator-in-residence Trevor Smith, Feelings includes a comprehensive survey of Creed’s work in the CCS Galleries as well as an installation of his works alongside the permanent collection in the recently opened Hessel Museum of Art. The exhibition is on view Saturday, July 7, through Sunday, September 16, 2007. The opening reception is Saturday, July 7, 5:00 to 7:30 pm. Beginning July 8, 2007, Museum hours are Wednesdays – Sundays, 1:00 – 6:00 pm.
Feelings ranges from the earliest work in Creed’s oeuvre, Work No. 3: Yellow Painting (1986), to recent video and sculptural works, produced over the last year. A number of new projects are also presented, both inside and outside CCS Bard. Major new realizations of Creed’s signature works, such as The Lights Going On and Off and Half the Air in a Given Space, are featured.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Creed offers a one-night-only performance on Saturday, July 7, at 8:30 p.m. Martin Creed and His Band will perform on the Bard College campus in the Summerscape 2007 Spiegeltent. Tickets are $25; call or visit www.fishercenter.bard.edu.
Martin Creed is renowned for his aggressive deployment of a range of seemingly banal materials, such as a spot of blu-tak affixed precisely to the center of a wall; sheets of letter paper filled in with highlighter or ballpoint pen; collections of an enormous variety of balls; stacks of lumber; or neon spelling out simple words and phrases such as “THINGS,” “FEELINGS,” or “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.” Such works subvert traditional hierarchies, appearing to aim for a Minimalist degree-zero of sculpture, while invoking a surprisingly broad range of potential meanings and emotional responses, from fear to pleasure and empathy.
Creed is also a musician and speaks of wanting to make art aspire to the condition of music. The idea is that one might experience art more as an event than as a static object, as in two of Creed’s most renowned works, The Lights Going On and Off (1996) and Half the Air in a Given Space (1997).
For the inauguration of the Hessel Museum in November last year, Creed performed Work No. 593 with the Bard College Conservatory of Music. The work, produced as a musical composition, was performed with all the instruments in the orchestra lined up by pitch, from high to low, with each playing single notes in turn. Ordering the instruments this way created equivalencies instead of the unquestioned hierarchies between instruments that are the norm, making the triangle or kettledrum as significant as the violin. Creed has also applied such simple ordering structures to potted plants, trees, and metronomes. Using objects as integers can be seen as a classic Minimalist strategy, while its absurdity owes a debt to Dada and punk.
The recent Sick Film (2006), introduces previously unrealized visceral potential in Creed’s work. In a featureless white space, individuals carry out elemental bodily functions. Performing such ordinary yet private, even hidden acts before a camera, the individuals reveal a range of personalities invoking a range of responses, such as empathy, embarrassment, disgust, and pride.
Born in Wakefield, England, in 1968, Creed graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1990. He has exhibited and performed in solo and group exhibitions and biennales around the world. In 2001 he won the Turner Prize for his Work No. 227: The Lights Going On and Off. In the last year he has presented solo exhibitions and projects at Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan; Curzon Mayfair Cinema, London; Hauser and Wirth, Zurich; MC, Los Angeles; Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland; and Johnen Galerie, Berlin. His work was also featured in How to Improve the World, Hayward Gallery, London; Of Mice and Men: 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art; and Scape, 2006 Biennial of Art in Public Space, in Christchurch, New Zealand, among other venues. His work is in the collections of some of the most important museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate, London.
Martin Creed is represented by Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, Hauser and Wirth, London and Zurich; and Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne.