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Exhibition by one of Britain's most influential contemporary artists opens at the Sidney Cooper Gallery

21 February 2013

A new Hayward Touring exhibition of screen-prints by Michael Craig-Martin comes to the Sidney Cooper Gallery this month as part of a national tour.

Michael Craig-Martin is one of the most influential British artists of recent decades. He was a key figure in the Young British Artists generation, many of whom he taught in his capacity as Professor at Goldsmiths College of Art.

Throughout his career, Craig-Martin has explored the iconography of everyday and designer objects. For his exhibition, 'Alphabet', he has produced 26 screenprints in which the letters of the alphabet are overlaid with everyday objects such as a book, a glass of water or an umbrella, producing visually arresting images set against a background of vivid monochrome colours and overlaid with a single letter.

In this series, created in his signature style, Craig-Martin plays with the idea of the ABC children’s primer. Instead of a direct 'A is for Apple', 'B is for Ball', the relationship between the letter and image is more ambiguous and requires some guess-work; ‘C’ shows a knife, perhaps representing the word ‘cut’.

Over the past decade, Craig-Martin’s practice has embraced digital technology as a tool for working on ideas and compositions. He has used a computer to create an image-bank of everyday objects which have been employed in large-scale wall drawings and acrylic paintings on canvas. He drew upon this resource to create 'Alphabet', which was then produced using traditional screen-printing methods.

'Alphabet'  opens on Friday, 22 February and continues until Saturday, 23 March, at the Sidney Cooper Gallery, St Peter's Street, Canterbury CT1 2BQ.

The Gallery is free and open to the public Tuesday to Friday, 10:30am to 5:30pm and Saturday 11:30am to 5pm. The exhibition will be closed Sunday and Monday.

For more information about the Sidney Cooper Gallery visit: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/sidney-cooper/

Notes to Editor

  • 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 Professor from 1994-2000, he had a significant influence on two generations of young British artists.
  • This series of 26 screen prints was published by the Alan Cristea Gallery in 2007.
  • For over 40 years, the Hayward Gallery has a played a key role in creating imaginative, high profile exhibitions in London and, through Hayward Touring exhibitions, within the UK. Both Hayward Touring and the Arts Council Collection are managed by the Hayward Gallery on behalf of Arts Council England, and add to the Hayward’s distinctive national remit.
  • The Hayward Gallery is a constituent part of Southbank Centre, the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. Each year the Hayward Gallery presents up to five major art exhibitions as well as Hayward Touring exhibitions in more than 100 venues around the country.
  • For more information about upcoming venues for this exhibition please check: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/visual-arts/hayward-touring/current

 

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