Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre announce Martin Creed: What’s the point of it?

The Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre London present Martin Creed: What’s the point of it? An exhibition on view 29 January–27 April 2014.

Martin Creed: What’s the point of it? is the first major retrospective of Creed’s ingenious and often highly provocative work. Since the beginning of his career, when he made small objects that could be placed anywhere, Creed has made work that questions the very nature of art and challenges taboos. His work takes on a multitude of forms—from sculpture, paintings, neons, films and installations, to music and performance—appearing both in the art gallery and in broader public circulation. At once rigorous and humorous, his art continually surprises, disrupts and overturns our expectations. It reflects on the unease we face in making choices, the comfort we find in repetition, the desire to control, and the inevitable losses of control that shape existence.

While Creed’s early works demonstrate a pared-down approach to art-making, he soon began to respond to the inherent ‘logic’ of everyday materials and ubiquitous objects. Ranging from minimal gestures to room-filling installations, these works often order or re-configure diverse objects, colours, and textures into unexpected series and sequences based on certain principles or limitations. At the same time his work comprises playful and emotive meditations on the invisible structures that shape our lives. For Creed, the idea of making ‘work’ that takes on a multitude of shapes and forms, rather than object-based ‘artwork,’ is what keeps his practice situated in, and often inseparable from, the wider world.

Presenting works dating from c.1984 to the present day, What’s the point of it? occupies the entire gallery including its three outdoor sculpture terraces, entrance foyer, lift and even the toilets. Small works and interventions that are telling yet so subtle they are almost unnoticeable are balanced by brilliantly coloured wall paintings and new large-scale installations and sculptures set in dialogue with the Hayward’s architecture. Preserving the open nature of the galleries, the few temporary walls constructed for the exhibition are themselves artworks designed by Creed, including a monumental brick wall outside on the sculpture terrace.

Martin Creed was born in 1968 in Wakefield, England, and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2001, he was awarded the Turner Prize and his work is collected by leading institutions around the world. Creed lives and works in London and spends time in Alicudi, Italy.

Martin Creed: What’s the point of it? is curated by Dr Cliff Lauson, Curator, Hayward Gallery.

The exhibition is accompanied by a number of musical and live performances featuring Creed and his band, as well as talks, tours and other events. Visit southbankcentre.co.uk/creed for more information.

Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road
London SE1 8XX

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