Martin Creed

Anything is art that is used as art by people.”




Artist and musician Martin Creed (born 1968, United Kingdom) has been described as “part court jester, part subversive philosopher.” In his work, all materials and spatial conditions hold equal creative potential: white is no better than black, empty is no better than full. Creed’s works provide unexpectedly playful ways of reconsidering the hierarchical assumptions with which we negotiate the world.



Both works by Creed are installed per his instructions. For Work No. 329, he directed the museum to: fill latex balloons with half of the air in a given space and then fill that space with the balloons. Viewers bring the piece to life by entering and walking through.



In his signature whimsical way, Creed uses a simple, everyday object to draw our attention to an invisible entity that surrounds us: the air that fills us when we breathe.



PlayTime curator Trevor Smith on how Martin Creed’s simple gestures transform the traditional museum experience. Read the transcript.




Work No. 329, 2004
Rennie Collection


Work No. 798, 2007
Emulsion on wall
Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth


(Image credits: Photo by Bob Packert/PEM; Martin Creed, photo by Hugo Glendinning; photo by Bob Packert/PEM; photo by Allison White/PEM.)