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Martin Creed

Martin Creed (born 1968) is an British artist noted for his works which hark back to the conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s.

Creed was born in Wakefield and brought up in Glasgow. He studied art at the Slade School of Art in London from 1986 to 1990.

Since 1987, Creed has numbered each of his works, and most of his titles relate in a very direct way to the piece's substance. Work No. 79, some Blu-tack neaded, rolled into a ball and depressed against a wall (1993), for example, is just what it sounds like, as is Work No. 88, a sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball (1994). One of Creed's best known works is Work No. 200, half the air in a given space (1998), which is a room with enough inflated balloons in it for them to contain half the air in it.

Some of Creed's works use neon signs. In these cases, the title of the work indicates what the sign says. These pieces include Work No. 220, Don't Worry (2000); Work No. 225, Everything Is Going To Be Alright (2000), which was mounted to the side of a building in Times Square, New York City; and Work No. 232, the whole world + the work = the whole world (2000), which was mounted on Tate Britain in London.

Perhaps Creed's best known piece among the general public is the work he exhibited for the 2001 Turner Prize show at the Tate Gallery, Work No. 227, the lights going on and off. This was an empty room in which the lights periodically switched on and off. As so often with the Turner Prize, this created a great deal of press attention, most of it questioning whether something as minimalist as this could be considered art at all. Creed won the prize.

Creed formed a band, Owada, in 1994. In 1997 they released their first CD, Nothing, on David Cunningham's Piano label. Here too there is a very direct relation between the song titles and the work itself: in songs like "1-2-3-4" the entire lyrics are contained in the title. Sound has also featured in his gallery-based work, with pieces using doorbells and metronomes.