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Art of Fontainebleau – Michael Craig-Martin

Untitled, 2014
Acrylic on aluminum
78 3/4 x 78 3/4
Viewable at the entrance to VIP Services off the Chateau Lobby

Michael Craig-Martin is a contemporary conceptual artist and painter born in Dublin in 1941 and educated in the United States, studying fine art at Yale University. He returned to Europe in the mid-1960s, becoming one of the key figures in fostering the first generation of British conceptual artists. He taught at Goldsmith’s College School of Art where he was a powerful influence on a generation of his students who became known as the Young British Artists (YBA’s), including Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst, and Tracey Emin. From his early box-like constructions of the late 60’s, he moved increasingly to the use of ordinary household objects, playing against the logic of his sources. His best-known works include his iconic piece “An Oak Tree,” (consisting of a glass of water standing on a shelf high on the gallery wall. In the accompanying text, he asked himself questions to assert that, despite appearances, he had changed the glass of water into an oak tree); his large-scale black and white wall drawings; and his intensely colored paintings, installations, and commissions. Craig-Martin continues working in various mediums, always maintaining an elegant restraint and conceptual clarity. His works have shifted decisively to painting, with the same range of boldly outlined motifs and luridly vivid color schemes in unexpected combinations applied both to works on canvas and to increasingly complex installations of wall paintings.