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art: martin creed pop-up restaurant

Edited by: catrin davies
on March 2nd, 2012
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Art is having something of an ephemeral moment - what with Prada's 24 hour museum having been and gone before most people even knew about it (that was the point, see) it seems that the new luxury is about less time, not more. If you want it, you've got to be quick.

Following in this consumable vein, London restaurant Sketch is broadening its patron-esque status of the contemporary art world by launching an ongoing collaboration with selected artists to re-design their Gallery restaurant (they ran a similar pop-up art-restaurant at the Royal Academy in 2011.) 

Sketch is ten years old this year, and while it may have lost a little swagger over the past decade, Martin Creed's inaugral restaurant design (which opened yesterday) has already got the style press salivating again. 

Essentially Creed's restaurant consists of two seperate 'works'; Work No. 1347 refers to the zigzag of marble (96 varieties) which snakes its way across the restaurant floor and works its way into wall paintings, while Work No. 1343 refers to the furniture, cutlery, glassware and crockery - each single piece being absolutely unique. Eclectic, doesn't even begin to describe the overall look, but somehow, it just sort of works... in a very Missoni kind of way....

The third aspect to the piece, is of course, the diners. The menu has also been inspired by Creed, and so the final act in the whole performance is left up to you - do you want the pan-fired rib-eye or the roast lamb fillet? 

I've had two previous encounters with Creed's work (the artist who will probably be forever known as; the lights on and off guy who won the Turner Prize in 2001...for turning lights on and off) both of which were somewhat awkward.

The first time was in 2007, at an exhibition in an old warehouse space in east London, which involved being the only person in there at 10am of a Sunday morning, having to stand through the duration of  a projected video of  a couple of having sex, while someone clumsily played a piano in the shadows. The other, was at Tate Britain in 2008, where I nearly got mowed down by a sprinter who was pegging-it through the gallery halls as part of  Creed's perfomance piece; Work No. 850.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that Creed isn't an artist who goes unnoticed. Even the smallest and most domestic of gestures; switching lights on, folding paper, stacking chairs, running, eating dinner... somehow take on a new gravitas when he's involved, and as idiosyncratic as it may seem to put these little, domestic actions into a gallery setting - or even more-so into a restaurant -  there's actually something quite graceful about celebrating the mundane little things we do everyday. 

For full menu and booking details for the Martin Creed-designed Gallery restaurant at Sketch, London check out the website here.

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