Work No. 960, 2008, Cactus plants, 13 parts, dimensions variable
In his works Martin Creed often uses ordinary objects, arranging them in eye-catching yet rigorous ways. Work No. 960 is a straight line of thirteen cacti from different species. Each plant is incrementally taller than the last, with the largest one rising above your head.
Work No. 190, A crumpled ball of paper in every room in a house, 1995, Letter-sized paper
Work No. 190 was previously realized in a private home, where a crumpled paper ball appeared in each and every room. Reappearing at the MCA in every room that is open to the public, these paper balls play with notions of art as a valuable object and subtly disrupt the usual order of the space.
Work No. 916, 2008, Nine cardboard boxes
The nine cardboard boxes in Work No. 916 are stacked on top of each other from largest to smallest to form a tower. The brand markings on the boxes indicate their original contents—various purchases ranging from a television to bottled water.
Work No. 792, 2007, Lego
Work No. 792 is built from everyday materials—a set of widely available toy Lego blocks—and is strongly in keeping with Creed’s interest in formal structure. Here at the MCA, the sculpture acts as a homage to the skyscraper, a symbol of modern development and a notable presence in Chicago’s skyline.
Work No. 798 (2007) and Work No. 1349 (2012), Emulsion on wall
Creed’s paintings, whether they fill a small canvas or a monumental wall, are often the result of predetermined logic or a few simple rules. The two large-scale paintings that cover the walls in the MCA’s lobby—one of them conceived specifically for this site—each comprise a repeating pattern in a single bold color.
Work No. 189, Thirty Nine metronomes beating time, one at every speed, 1998, Mechanical metronomes
Martin Creed is as interested in sound and music as he is in visual art. Both a sculptural installation and a source of sound, Work No. 189 consists of thirty-nine metronomes set to a different tempo or speed, one for every setting the device offers. Assembled like a chorus, the metronomes produces a percussive piece of music while also marking out time. As the final work in the artist’s residency project, this group of objects counts down the remaining moments of Creed’s presence in the museum.