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Work No. 78 (as many 2.5cm squares as are necessary cut from 2.5cm Elastoplast tape and piled up, adhesive sides down, to form a 2.5cm cubic stack)
© Martin Creed. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2021. Photo credit: British Council Collection

British sculptor and installation artist. He was born in Wakefield, grew up in Scotland, and studied at the *Slade School of Art. His works are generally sparse in their material form and are identified only by numbers so as not to impose associations. (For this reason his numbering system avoids the portentous No. 1.) He is best known for the work for which he was awarded the *Turner Prize in 2002, Work no. 227 (2000, MoMA, New York). An entire room is alternately lit and darkened by electric light. It is a way of making a work of art which has no material existence: the light and the darkness are not themselves the art, only the change between them. This is a work which has entered the mythology of ‘modern art’ stories: the river boat guide tells the tourists (quite incorrectly) as they pass *Tate Modern: about the empty room inside with the single light bulb.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)


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