Briony Fer, London, 2011.
[English and French]
Linen-bound hardcover, 160 pp., color iluustrations throughout, 11" × 8 1/2" × 5/8."
It is probable that Creed is best known in Vancouver for Work No. 851 (2008) his seventy-five foot neon sentiment EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT, permanently installed at Wing Sang. The phrase should rightly be read as a glowing beacon of optimism and conciliation. A converse interpretation, however, might lead one to ask but exactly how good is 'alright'? By entangling the double entendre in many of his works, Creed seemingly employs binary opposites: on or off; big and small; open, then closed. When these opposites collide, as they do so often in these numerically catalogued works, what was once a simple dualism is exploded, revealing infinite ulterior facets. The door into Martin Creed's world is much like Work No. 129: a door continuously opening and closing (1995), where we can look through it and see nothing or everything, or both, in equal parts.
Creed renders the invisible tangible to spectacular effect with Work No. 329 (2004). By employing party balloons to contain precisely fifty percent of the calculated volume of a particular room, the artist provokes the viewer's awareness of how they may negotiate the remainder. Creed craftily compounds elements again in Work No. 372 (2004-2005). A grand piano, an elegant yet burdensome instrument, normally used to play florid compositions brimful of scintillating keystrokes is transformed into a brute, thumping automaton. As the innards of the piano reverberate each time the lid comes down, the sculpture also becomes a score.
Rennie Collection holds a diverse breadth of these seminal works alongside more recent endeavours. In Work No. 1000: Broccoli prints (2009-2010), a special commission to be shown for the very first time during this exhibition, the artist halves an imperceptively complex shape, a sprig of broccoli, using the exposed plain to conduct printed impressions. Creed has similarly been bisecting entire exhibitions with Work No. 850 (2008), in which convoys of human sprinters are directed to traverse spaces, such as the neoclassical galleries of Tate Britain, at timed intervals. This piece will be making its North American debut at Wing Sang.
Martin Creed was born in Wakefield, England in 1968 and currently lives and works in London and Alicudi, Italy. He won the Turner Prize in 2001 and in recent years has worked on music, dance, writing, sculpture and painting. Creed's recent solo exhibitions and projects include Moscow Museum of Modern Art; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; and the Duveen Commission,Tate Britain, London.