Liam Gillick

(b. 1964)

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(1964– )

British artist, designer, curator, and art theorist, born in Aylesbury. He studied under Michael Craig-Martin at Goldsmiths College, from which he graduated in 1987. His work is influenced by Minimalism and is on an environmental scale which encourages spectator interaction. A notable example was The Wood Way, an installation at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 2002. This was a kind of maze in pine planks and brightly coloured Plexiglass—the title of the piece was taken from a German expression for getting lost—to which were added quotations with sources ranging from science fiction to the sentence of hanging, drawing and quartering passed on the Catholic martyr Sir Thomas More. Gillick's outlook could be seen as characteristic of Postmodernism in that the austere forms of abstract art are no longer seen as neutral but as a manipulative force. He described his work redesigning the Whitechapel café for the exhibition as ‘a bit like a regular neo-liberal, relativist refurbishment job where you can half the size of the sandwiches and double the price’.

Further Reading

S. O'Hagan, ‘This is not an art gallery’, The Observer (5 May 2002)

Subjects: Art.

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