Michael Craig-Martin grew up and was educated in the United States. He studied Fine Art at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture and, on completion of his studies in 1966, he moved to London where he has lived ever since. His early work drew together a variety of objects and materials and questioned the nature of art and representation. An Oak Tree, 1973, is one of his best known early works. His more recent work, which includes painting, printmaking, installations projections and drawing, continues to depict common place objects.
Craig-Martin had his first one man exhibition at the Rowan Gallery in London in 1969. Since then he has shown regularly both in the UK and abroad. Most notably there was a major retrospective of his work at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1989, and in 1991 he showed wall drawings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Group exhibitions include the British conceptual exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1972, The New Art, and the 1996 exhibition Un siecle de sculpture anglaise at the Jeu de Paume in Paris. He was the British representative at the Sao Paulo Bienal in 1998.
Craig-Martin is also widely recognised as an effective and influential teacher. His teaching career started in 1966, but it is his period at Goldsmiths College, London for which he is best known. His former students include many of those artists who made such a significant impact on the art scene in the 1990s; these include Damien Hirst, Gary Hume and Sarah Lucas.
He has curated exhibitions, including Drawing the Line, which toured venues including the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1995. He has also published many articles and essays and was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery.
Born: 1941 in Dublin
Elected RA: 12 December 2006
Elected Senior RA: 1 October 2015
Preferred media: Painting, Sculpture, and Printmaking