Michael Craig-Martin

Biography of Michael Craig-Martin

Michael Craig-Martin (born 1941 in Dublin, IE) is a prominent contemporary conceptual artist, painter, author, and teacher. His most renowned work is arguably An Oak Tree, 1973 in which he claimed to have transformed a glass of water into an oak tree. He regularly uses mass-produced, everyday objects, images, and materials in his art, in the early years choosing to focus mainly on drawings and box designs (Box That Never Closes, 1967). Gradually his focus has shifted to other mediums, such as painting, printmaking, and installations, however he continues to depict ordinary household objects. His works explore fundamental questions on the nature of art, representation, authorship, and the role of the viewer. His oeuvre has evolved from his early conceptual work to a distinct and easily identifiable style whose complexity of form and content send a clear message about art in the modern era.


Commonly referred to as the godfather of the Young British Artists, Craig-Martin is well known as an influential professor at Goldsmiths College in London. He greatly influenced two generations of young British artists, including notable former pupils Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, and Sarah Lucas.

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