Key facts about the artist

Our Love is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours 1
Our Love is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours (2002)

'Of course I have to make [the objects] but I want the viewer to feel like they’ve found them.'
Martin Boyce
Glasgow and Los Angeles
Turner Prize Winner 2011
Venice Biennale


Video: Interview - Martin Boyce

Video: Art in Scotland TV - Keith Hartley on GENERATION at the Scottish National Gallery

Video: TateShots - Martin Boyce, Turner Prize 2011

Video: A Conversation with Martin Boyce

Video: Martin Boyce, No Reflections at Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2009

About Martin's work

Martin Boyce works across a range of media including sculpture, installation and photography as well as wall paintings and fictional text. At the core of his work is an exploration of modernist design and specifically how time has affected our understanding of design objects.

Now I’ve got real worry (Mask and L-bar) from 1998–9 is an example of an early work in which Boyce has deconstructed two modernist objects by the iconic American designers, Charles and Ray Eames, making the leg splint into a tribal mask and the L-bar into a spear. In works such as this, Boyce compares the culture in which the objects were originally produced, in this case the optimism surrounding the post-war boom in manufacturing, to their position today as collectable art objects.

Boyce’s interest in modernist design was reinforced when he discovered a photograph of the concrete trees created by the sculptors Joël and Jan Martel for the 1925 Parisian Exhibition of Decorative Arts. This marks the departure point for his recent work. From the Martels’ decidedly cubist-inspired interpretation of nature, Boyce devised his own grid-based vocabulary of geometric shapes that he has since used as a basis for all aspects of his art. He also created his own font of angular letters, which has allowed Boyce to develop his interest in language and narrative.

Installation plays a significant role in Boyce’s art. His distinct awareness of space and its effect on the viewer was honed through his education’s focus on art for the public realm. Recalling familiar public spaces such as playgrounds, pedestrian walkways and abandoned or disused sites, Boyce’s installations often have a ghostly or somewhat disquieting atmosphere. His 2002 installation Our Love is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours at Tramway, Glasgow, transformed the gallery space into a darkened urban park, the only light emanating from trees constructed from tubular lamps. Such stage-sets create an imagined world where the past, present and future mix. Boyce merges the natural and the constructed, the populated and the uninhabited, the real and the imaginary, to create a melancholy interpretation of an unnamed landscape.


Martin Boyce (born 1967 in Hamilton) studied Environmental Art at The Glasgow School of Art from 1987 to 1990, before completing an MFA in 1997. Boyce has exhibited internationally in group shows such as Modern British Sculpture at the Royal Academy, London (2011) and Nettverk Glasgow, Oslo (1998). His solo shows include his critically acclaimed installation at Tramway, Glasgow (2002) and an exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (1999). In 2009 he represented Scotland at the 53rd Venice Biennale with No Reflections and in 2011 he was awarded the Turner Prize. He lives and works in Glasgow.


More information

Martin Boyce: No Reflections, Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2009

Martin Boyce, JRP|Ringier, Zurich, 2009