Martin Creed’s Odd Genius Comes To Park Avenue Armory


A few years back, at some art fair or another, Martin Creed was exhibiting a row of small cacti. It was a sculptural piece similar to this one, although the artist has done a few riffs on the cactus-in-a-row theme over his career, sometimes wrangling as many as 13 plants of various heights. A painter friend of mine had disdainfully posted an image of the work on Facebook (without identifying its creator); predictably, a wave of wild-eyed “are you kidding me my kid could do that what is the world coming to just kill me now” commentary ensued. Creed is one of those love/hate artists, and the people who hate him probably think he’s a moron, or a slacker, or an albatross on the upward evolution of higher culture. And sure, encountering a single Creed work can be underwhelming and frustrating; he’s the kind of artist who only makes sense from a macro view, taking in the full, strange breadth of his carefully numbered output.

That’s why it’s such good news that the Park Avenue Armory will be turning itself over to the British artist in June, with an exhibition that promises “the opening and closing of doors, lights going on and off, a slamming piano, a room filled hallway with balloons, the ticking of metronomes,” and other things guaranteed to thoroughly piss off non-believers. (One work incorporates a Chihuahua.) It’s on view June 8 through August 7; a series of musical performances will also accent the exhibition’s run. Meanwhile, Public Art Fund is facilitating a major Creed sculpture, to be installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 4. It’s going to be a very Creed sort of summer here in New York, even if that thought might turn some peoples’ stomachs. (Apologies in advance if you are eating lunch.)

—Scott Indrisek @indrisek

(Image: via