Born 1967 in Hamilton, Scotland.

Lives and works in Glasgow.

Education

1986–1990 Glasgow School of Art (Department of Environmental Art)
1996 California Institute for the Arts, Los Angeles
1996–1997 MFA, Glasgow School of Art

Awards

2011 Turner Prize

Solo Exhibitions (selection)

2016 Do Words Have Voices, Tate Britain, London
Spook School, CAPRI, Düsseldorf
2015 Martin Boyce, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel
2015 Martin Boyce: When Now is Night, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
2013 Study: Eyes – Martin Boyce, David Roberts Art Foundation, London
2010 Commission, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Group Exhibitions (selection)

2017 Mentally Yellow (High Noon), Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn and Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
2016 L’Esprit du Bauhaus, L’Objet en Question, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
2015 How to live? Visions of the future yesterday and today, Wilhelm-Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen
Private Utopia – Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
2014 Urban/Suburban, City Art Centre, Edinburgh
2013 London: City of Disappearances, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco
2012 Common Ground, 13th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale
2011 The Sculpture Show, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
2009 No Reflections, Scottish Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice
2007 Skulptur Projekte Münster

Martin Boyce has reworked and reformulated iconic design objects, developing his own pictorial language based on a reading of the formal and conceptual histories of design, architecture and urban planning. In an extended act of homage, deconstruction and re-imagining, Boyce has, for example, assembled reconstructed versions of Charles and Ray Eames 1949 storage units or created mobiles with fragments of Arne Jacobsen’s chair from 1955. Since 2005, elements drawing on Jan and Joel Martel’s concrete trees constructed for the Robert Mallet-Stevens’s Pavilion of Transport at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925 have been an important part of the artist’s formal vocabulary. His recurring use of unlikely elements, among them sections of rusted chain-link fences or suspended metal chains of various thicknesses, freed from their function as demarcation or restraint, create oddly affecting sculptures.

 

While Martin Boyce’s oeuvre includes shapes drawn both from modernist and classic design sources, it also includes references to everyday urban objects, such as fences, trash bins, or telephone boxes. Transformed by Boyce’s vision of the history of design, these elements, remaining more or less reminiscent of utilitarian objects, create enchanted landscapes that appear as slightly laconic witnesses of past urban development programs but also imbue the formal vocabulary of contemporary urbanism with moments of unexpected tenderness and beauty.

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