Michael Craig-Martin was born in Dublin Ireland in 1941. He grew up and was educated inthe United States, studying Fine Art at the Yale University School of Art. He came toBritain on completion of his studies in 1966, and has lived and worked there ever since.
His first solo exhibition was at the Rowan Gallery, London in 1969. He participated in thedefinitive exhibition of British conceptual art, “The New Art” at the Hayward Gallery in1972. Throughout his career, through work in many different media, he has explored theexpressive potential of commonplace objects and images. His best known works includeAn oak tree of 1973, in which he claimed to have changed a glass of water into an oaktree; his large-scale black and white wall drawings; and his intensely coloured paintings,installations, and public commissions.Over the past fifteen years he has done exhibitions and site specific installations innumerous museums and public galleries including Kunsthaus Bregenz, the CentrePompidou, MoMA, the Kunstvereins in Hannover, Dusseldorf, and Stuttgart, IVAM inValencia, the Magasin in Grenoble, the Arp Museum in Rolandseck, and the National ArtCenter Tokyo. He represented Britain in the 23rd Sao Paulo Biennal.
A retrospective of his work was presented at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London 1989and at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin in 2006.Craig-Martin is well known to have been an influential teacher at Goldsmiths CollegeLondon, and is considered a key figure in the emergence of the young British artists in theearly 90’s. Amongst his former students are Ian Davenport, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, LiamGillick, Michael Landy, Sarah Lucas, Julian Opie, and Fiona Rae.He was an Artist Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1989-99, received a CBE in 2001, and waselected to the Royal Academy in 2006.A comprehensive and fully illustrated book on his work, written by the critic Richard Cork,was published by Thames and Hudson in 2006.