Kris Martin was born in 1972 in Ghent, Belgium, where he lives and works. He is best-known for altering found objects, recreating seminal works of art and literature, and staging conceptual interventions; challenging notions of mortality, temporality and history.
One of his most famous pieces, Vase (2005), involves smashing a replica Ming vase and then gluing the whole thing back together each time it is exhibited in an ongoing act of quick destruction and painstaking restoration. Whether by marking its passing or transcending the present Martin’s practice questions the notion of time and our desire to comprehend it. For example, 100 Years (2004), is a steel ball that is set to explode in 2104 when a timer inside the object detonates; representing the time limit of human life. His diverse use of the readymade from the antique relic to the highly engineered or more ephemeral and immaterial interventions provoke a space of uncertainty, enquiry and existential reasoning. He has exhibited his work extensively in group exhibitions and events including the 4th Berlin Biennale (2006); Frieze Art Fair (2007), London; 2nd Athens Biennale (2009); 6th Liverpool Biennale (2010); 12th Istanbul Biennale (2011); 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Glasstress (2013), Venice; and Museum of Contemporary Art (2015), Chicago. He has recently had solo exhibitions include MoMA PS1 (2007), New York; Aspen Art Museum (2009); Marc Foxx (2007, 2008, 2011), Los Angeles; Kunsthistorisches Museum (2011), Vienna; Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (2011), San Francisco; Kunstmuseum Bonn (2012); Sies + Höke Galerie (2007, 2009, 2013), Düsseldorf; White Cube (2008, 2010, 2013), London; and Köning Galerie (2016), Berlin.