Craig-Martin was born in Dublin, Ireland and during the War years, lived in London and Wales. In 1945 his family relocated to Washington D.C. He studied painting at Yale University 1961-1963, and returned a year later as a post-graduate student in painting from 1964 -1966. In 1966 Craig-Martin returned to Britain to take up a teaching post at Bath Academy of Art, and in 1968 a second post at Canterbury College of Art. His first solo exhibition was held at the Rowan Gallery, London in 1969 where he showed his ‘box progression’ sculptures. He was appointed Artist in Residence at King’s College, Cambridge in 1970 and in 1972 exhibited in 7 Exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London and The New Art at the Hayward Gallery, London, acknowledged as the definitive exhibition of British conceptual art. He has exhibited in both venues on numerous occasions since.

Craig-Martin has taught at Goldsmith’s College of Art, London since 1973, running a highly influential programme for students working outside conventional painting and sculpture. His thinking is widely credited as the formative grounding for many young British artists, whose work defined British art of the 1990s. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1989 and in 1995 he curated Drawing the Line: a comprehensive touring exhibition on the history of line drawing for the South Bank Centre, London. He has presented major site-specific installations in museums and galleries around the world, and represented Britain at the Sao Paulo Bienal in 1998. Craig-Martin was appointed Millard Professor of Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College 1994 - 2000, and was subsequently made Professor Emeritus of Fine Art. He was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, London 1989 - 1999, and was made CBE in 2001.

De la Moore la Hirst: 60 de ani de sculptura Britanica (From Moore to Hirst: Sixty Years of British Sculpture), The British Council and the National Museum of Art, Bucharest, 2004