Bold colours and bold lines strike into your plane of vision as soon as your step into the Serpentine Gallery filled with works by Michael Craig-Martin.
His works have been seen every now and then in the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition and the Saatchi Gallery, but his last large exhibition was in 1989 at the Whitechapel gallery, allowing his a large space of time to create new works, appealing to the contemporary audience.
Craig-Martins work can immediately be recognised by the colourful adaptations of everyday objects, using colours tat contrast each other and provide an arresting vision of a spectrum of hues. A great example of this can be seen below, a sea of magenta with sparks of orange, bright blue, highlighter green and yellow.
The exhibition envelopes the viewer into the world of objects symbolising the 21st century, some evoking fond memories of ‘your first so-and-so’ with wall drawings, using thin black paint, of retro phones and televisions, the piece below dating back from 1981.
The title of this exhibition is particularly interesting and relevant, transience seems to mean a state that only lasts for a short while, and I think this exhibition perfectly sums up this word. The motifs that he uses emphasises the old and the new, how fashion comes and goes like the snap of the fingers. It’s odd to think that something that came out 10 or 15 years ago now looks ‘old’ in our eyes because of the constantly evolving technology. However, in some way, Craig-Martin has made these items everlasting thanks to the eye catching works he creates.
Walking into the main room, it is almost overwhelming. The turquoise walls conflicting with the keyed up colours used in his pieces, the only sense of stillness in the strong black outlines of the objects.
One of my favourite pieces in the collection was a sculpture outside, very different from his paintings yet has similarities in the sense of two dimensionality. It’s a bright pink that catches your eye against the sea of brown trees and endless blue sky.
This as a wonderful exhibition, packed with works that everyone can enjoy thanks to the large scale, vivid works that retain in your memory and fun factor that he brings to these mass produced products.
Michael Craig Martin: Transience at the Serpentine Gallery
Exhbition runs from 25th November, 2015 – 14th February, 2016
Open Tuesday – Sunday 10am- 6pm
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