Sightings: Martin Creed

March 26, 2011 - August 21, 2011 3/26/2011 12:00 AM 8/21/2011 12:00 AM

In the second exhibition of Sightings, the Nasher Sculpture Center's series of installations and interventions, Turner Prize-winning artist, Martin Creed debuted the site-specific, experiential installation Work No. 1190: Half the air in a given space in the Nasher's Lower Level Gallery, on view March 26, 2011 through August 21, 2011.

Creed transformed the Lower Level Gallery, filling the space with approximately 9,000 gold balloons to a height of about 8 feet. Related to several earlier installations, the balloons enclosed and made visible portions of the volume of air in the room to drastically alter one's physical experience of the space, as well as explore the relationship between sculpture and architecture. Sightings: Martin Creed also included a focused selection of recent work in the space outside the Lower Level Gallery, including sound sculptures on the stairs and elevator activated by the visitor.

"Sightings: Martin Creed will offer our Dallas audience its first exposure to the work of this exceptional and provocative artist," said Nasher Sculpture Center director Jeremy Strick. "By transforming our experience of space and creating a participatory environment, Creed extends our understanding of the possibilities of sculpture."

Over the past two decades, Creed's work -- which has included painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, video, musical performance, and text -- has consistently explored the emotional and existential impact of dichotomous physical states: presence versus absence, being versus nothingness, and doing versus not doing. In 2001, Creed won the prestigious Turner Prize, given to a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or installation in the previous year, for Work No. 227: The lights going on and off, an empty room in which the lights continuously alternated between being on and being off every five seconds. Often using the most straightforward, unassuming means, Creed's work takes joy in simple experiences and questions our assumptions of what a work of art is and what it means to be an artist.

Sightings: New Art at the Nasher is a series of small-scale exhibitions and installations that invite established and emerging contemporary sculptors from across Texas and around the world to create new work in response to the unique collection and architectural context of the Nasher Sculpture Center. The series focuses on artists whose work draws on modernist precedents, yet reconsiders accepted notions and generates new ideas about modern and contemporary sculpture. In doing so, the exhibitions expand upon, invigorate, and re-contextualize the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, which is noted for its strong holdings in work by modern masters such as Calder, Giacometti, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, and David Smith, among others. In addition, inviting contemporary artists to engage the variety of spaces of the Nasher Sculpture Center in new, thought-provoking ways provides occasions to examine the evolving relationship between sculpture and architecture, also a hallmark of the modernist era.