Martin Boyce: Before Behind Between Above Below


Martin Boyce’s sculptures rework the textures and forms of the built environment. Using the iconography of the everyday alongside the formal and conceptual histories of art, architecture and design, Boyce creates poetic landscapes that merge interior and exterior spaces.

This exhibition extended throughout Fruitmarket, in the Exhibition Galleries and the Warehouse. It opened with an installation that used the existing architecture to create a new structure in which to display a series of wall-based works – from very early graphic text works to more recent painted panels. This lead on to a small room in which models and materials relating to Boyce’s history with Jan and Joël Martel’s 1925 concrete ‘trees’ were shown on a specially adapted concrete table. The lexicon of shapes, patterns and typography Boyce has developed from these trees had never before been laid out in an exhibition.

Boyce re-imagined the familiar space of Fruitmarket’s Upper Gallery, with a number of works brought together in an atmospheric new combination. From the immersive beauty of Future Blossom (For Yokeno Residence) to the subtly subversive interventions of the Ventilation Grill series, the works combined to make a magical place somewhere between inside and outside.

Finally, the Warehouse, where sculptures gathered as though recently returned from or about to go out on exhibition. Familiar works were shown in unfamiliar ways as Boyce played with ideas of storage, granting us access to a part of the exhibition or art making process that is not normally seen, and questioning how things slip into and out of mind and memory.

We were proud to make this major exhibition with Martin Boyce. Bringing together works from 1992 to the present – including a significant number of sculptures that had been shown internationally, but never before at home – it offered the chance to reflect on the artistic sensibility and sculptural language of one of the UK’s most significant artists.


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Images: Stefan Altenburger


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