Michael Craig-Martin reflects on obsolete electronics at the Serpentine Gallery

Michael Craig-Martin reflects on obsolete electronics at the Serpentine Gallery

London’s Serpentine Gallery presents a solo exhibition of works by British artist Michael Craig-Martin that focuses on his paintings of obsolete technology

Following his blockbuster of a summer show at Chatsworth House last year and a showcase of new paintings in Shanghai at the start of this year, Irish artist Michael Craig-Martin is back in the city he calls home with a new solo show at London’s Serpentine Gallery. Unbelievably, this is Craig-Martin’s first solo show in a London public institution since 1989.

Widely credited as inspiring a new generation of artists including Damien Hirst, during his 15-year tenure as a tutor at Goldsmiths, Craig-Martin has a long record of challenging conventional ways of seeing and his new show, ’Transience,’ is no different. Centring on his paintings of once familiar yet obsolete technology - from the battery to the cassette tape to the laptop - each of the successive electronic inventions on show are depicted in the artist’s self-proclaimed ’style-less style’ - simple line drawings mechanically filled-in with blocks of pure even colour. 

These works, which were created over four decades between 1981 - 2015, act as a documentation of evolving technology, tracking the rapid change from analogue to digital and forcing us to reflect upon how these electronic objects have shaped the way we live.

’Craig-Martin’s acute observations present an extraordinary picture of recent developments in the production, processes, functions and form of the objects that populate our world,’ says the Serpentine’s Director Julia Peyton-Jones. ’His work reveals a search for the ultimate expression of contemporaneity in a way that we all experience – through the items we use every day.’

As well as the paintings, ’Transience’ features new wallpaper by Craig-Martin created especially for the exhibition.

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