Born in Glasgow in 1967, Martin Boyce is well known for his sculptural installations that recall and reference conventional public spaces - the playground, pedestrian subway, discarded or abandoned recreational sites - to form a cohesive and immersive environment. Individual works comprising sculptural forms recall conventional public furniture; benches, bins, signage and lighting. Drawing on the iconography and subsequent production of modernist design, these objects take on an alternative life by being displaced from their original context and purpose.
In his arrangements and room installations Martin Boyce utilises the visual vocabulary of modernist architecture and design, such as the pioneering functionalism of Charles (1907 – 78) and Ray (1912 – 88) Eames - whose contribution to the language of furniture includes the development of the concept of modular construction - and the accessible and affordable furniture of Arne Jacobsen (1902 – 71). Boyce's interest lies in the cultural meanings carried in every line and detail of these design objects; whether presenting them whole, making his own dysfunctional additions or dissecting them into the elements from which they are formed, he creates propositions that question the ideals they embody and re-articulate their meaning. In 'Mobile (Being with You is Like the New Past' 2002, a simple hanging arrangement using Jacobsen seat units, there are the associations of both the nursery and of most prominent use of the mobile as an art object in the spatial studies of Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976). For Boyce the plethora of meanings inherent in objects of everyday design forms a starting point for his own spatial investigations within the context of the present.
In 2004 he held a solo exhibition at The Modern Institute, Glasgow and in 2004 was included in the British Council exhibition Sodium & Asphalt, which was shown at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey. In 2009, Martin Boyce represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale, where he presented a solo exhibition curated by Dundee Contemporary Arts.
Made in Britain Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980-2010,China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Publishing Corporation 2010. ISBN 978-7-5059-7014-4.