Since his emergence as one of Britain’s leading artists during the early 1990s, Martin Creed has developed a practice characterised at once by conceptual stringency and a touching, deceptive, simplicity. Creed memorably won the Turner Prize in 2001, exhibiting at Tate Britain his installation Work No. 160 (The lights going on and off, 1996), which was just that. Music and words have always been an integral part of Martin’s practice – his Work No. 955 is an orchestral piece which was performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He also has his own indie rock band, playing live and recording CDs - the simplicity of the music demonstrates a straightforward but intellectual approach to creativity. Using few notes and words Creed delivers compelling messages in tracks such as ‘Words’, ‘Thinking not thinking’ and ‘Fuck off’.
‘Even as Creed sets out to short-circuit our choice-saturated culture, he opens up endless options. Once you have nothing, anything can happen.’ The Times