Michael Craig-Martin is one of the most influential British artists of recent decades. He was a key figure for the YBA generation of artists, whom he taught in his capacity as tutor at Goldsmiths College of Art. In his recent series, Alphabet, he has produced 26 screen-prints in which the letters of the alphabet are overlaid with everyday objects such as a book, a glass of water or an umbrella.
Created in his signature style, these visually arresting images are set against a background of vivid monochrome colours. In this series Craig-Martin plays with the idea of the ABC childrens primer. Instead of a direct 'A is for Apple', 'B is for Ball', the relationship between the letter and image depicted is not instantly obvious and requires some guess work.
Over the past decade, Craig-Martin’s practice has embraced digital technology. He has used a computer to create an image-bank of everyday objects employed in large-scale wall drawings and paintings. He drew upon this resource to create Alphabet, which was then produced using traditional screen printing methods.
This series of 26 screen prints were published by the Alan Cristea Gallery in 2007.
Michael Craig-Martin was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated in the United States, where he studied at Yale University under Josef Albers. He returned to Europe in the mid-1960s and was a key figure in the first generation of British conceptual artists. As a tutor at Goldsmith's College from 1974-1988 and 1994-2000, he had a significant influence on two generations of young British artists.
4 April - 15 June 2014
St Albans, UH Galleries at the Museum
Images © Michael Craig-Martin and Alan Cristea Gallery.