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Martin Creed

Martin Creed Down Over Up
Sponsored by Bloomberg
Edinburgh Art Festival Exhibition
30 July – 31 October 2010

This exhibition showed new and recent work by Martin Creed, one of Britain’s most highly-regarded and popular artists. Creed’s work captures the public imagination, while also attracting critical acclaim for its generous, accessible approach. He puts ideas out in the world in a variety of materials, not all of them art materials yet not all of them everyday stuff either (while he makes work with readily available, simple things such as planks of wood, stacked chairs or pieces of crumpled paper; he also uses paint, a traditional artist’s material, and professionally trained runners and ballet dancers, neither of which are particularly easy to get hold of). In 2001 he won the Turner Prize with Work No. 227: The lights going on and off, and in 2008 responded to the prestigious Duveen Commission at Tate Britain with the phenomenally popular Work No. 850, in which runners sprinted through the gallery at 30-second intervals.

Consisting of recent and newly-commissioned work, this exhibition focused on stacking and progression in size, height and tone – stacks of planks, chairs, tables, boxes, pieces of lego; series of paintings; and works making use of the musical scale. Creed talks about these works in terms of a picture of growth; showing process, progress and things in movement. A highlight of the exhibition was a new commission in which Creed turned the Gallery’s staircase into a synthesizer, with each step sounding a different note on the scale as the audience walked up or down.

The exhibition’s focus on progression – on going up and down steps – gives a context to a new permanent work of public sculpture the Scotsman Steps. Part of a City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh World Heritage renovation of Edinburgh’s Scotsman Steps, this work is commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery and supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund for Edinburgh Art Festival. Creed will resurface the Steps with different and contrasting marbles from all over the world, creating a visually spectacular, beautiful and thoughtful response to this historic artery. Due to open to the public at the end of June 2011.

Martin Creed Exhibition Guide

Martin Creed Webfilm

Talks and Events

‘Bed-In’ as Gesamtkunstwerk: A ‘Typical Morning’ in the Quest for World Peace
Jonathan Harris (University of Liverpool) discusses Creed’s work in relation to the early ‘events’/’situations’ of the 1960s led by Allan Kaprow, Yoko Ono, Douglas Huebler, the Pulsar Group and Bruce Nauman, and their activation of a place/space in phenomenological, social and political ways.

Briony Fer: From One Make None
Briony Fer (University College London) explores oneness and noneness in Martin Creed’s work.

Related items

Exhibition Poster

Limited availability 

This poster was designed by The Fruitmarket Gallery to support the Martin Creed Down Over Up exhibition which ran from 30 July – 31 October 2010.

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Scotsman Steps

Martin Creed’s Work No.1059 is a permanent artwork on The Scotsman Steps, Market Street, Edinburgh opposite the Fruitmarket Gallery. The Scotsman Steps as they are now reopened to the public on 22 June 2011.

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Exhibition DVD

In this DVD, Martin Creed talks about a selection of works chosen for the exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh in terms of a picture of growth, showing process, progress and things in movement. The exhibition Down Over Up ran from 30 July – 31 October 2010.