Press Releases

Photo by Alex MacLean
Press Releases

PAF Announces Martin Creed's New Sculpture for BBP Bringing Message of "Understanding" to NYC This Spring

FEBRUARY 26, 2016, NEW YORK, NY—Public Art Fund announces Understanding, an exhibition featuring a new 25-foot-tall rotating ruby red neon sculpture by British artist Martin Creed commissioned specifically for Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6. Sited on the Park’s southernmost pier overlooking the East River, its message will be visible from nearby Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, the river, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Work No. 2630, UNDERSTANDING (2016) is Creed’s largest public sculpture to date. Martin Creed: Understanding, will be on view May 4 to October 23, 2016 at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6.

“Martin Creed is a poet of the everyday,” said Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume. “His art confronts us with things we think we already know – inviting us to look at them afresh. ‘Understanding’ is a simple word with complex meanings; we might, for example, show understanding on an emotional level, even while not understanding what somebody has said or done. In this luminous and dynamic sculptural form, the word is isolated, monumental, and continually moving. Both literally and figuratively, Creed offers us a new vantage point to see the world. But is this a celebration of understanding or a challenge to us to understand more? Either way, Martin Creed’s disarming eloquence captures our imagination.”

Defined by red neon lights, the word ‘understanding’ is formed from individual steel letters and supported by an industrial I-beam mounted to a post and rotating on a central axis. The beam will spin at varying speeds, sometimes moving slowly and other times at a faster pace; the rhythm will be determined by a computerized program designed by Creed. The post stands in the center of a stepped base reminiscent of a ziggurat that will act as seating for park visitors. From Pier 6, the work will be highly visible—a luminous sign with a clear and poignant message—while visually interacting with the City’s well-known skyline. Work No. 2630, UNDERSTANDING (2016) is the third and biggest iteration of Creed’s large-scale rotating neon text sculptures including Work No. 1357, Mothers (2012), which was exhibited in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and Work No. 2070, People (2014).

One of Great Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists and a 2001 Turner Prize winner, Creed works in a wide array of media including sculpture, painting, installation, choreography, and music. Making use of existing materials and situations, the artist creates works that question the definition of art with playful approach to conceptual minimalism. His logical and deadpan approach to artmaking is evident in the names he gives to his works, which are titled in numerical and sequential order. One of his best known pieces is Work No. 1197, All the Bells in a Country Rung as Quickly and Loudly as Possible for Three Minutes (2012), which Creed presented on the occasion of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Thousands participated in the piece, ringing bells from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London to Millennium Square in Bristol to St Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire, and in hundreds of other churches and community centers throughout the United Kingdom to usher in the Olympics. Public Art Fund previously presented Creed’s now-famed Work No. 225, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT (1999) on the façade the Hilton Times Square in 2000.

From June 8 to August 7, Park Avenue Armory will present a new exhibition by Creed, marking the most comprehensive survey of his work in the US to date. Utilizing both the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and the historic interiors of the building, the artist will animate the space with opening and closing doors, curtains, a slamming piano, and balloons, as well as new performance and video work. For more information, visit

Martin Creed (b. 1968, Wakefield, England) lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions of his work have been recently presented at the Hayward Gallery, London (2014); Tate Britain, London (2013); The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg (2013); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2012); MAMAC, France (2011); and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2010). He was the recipient of the Turner Prize in 2001 for Work No. 227: The Lights Going On And Off. An accomplished musician, he has released several albums including Mind Trap (2014), Chicago (2012) and Love to You (2012). His latest album is due to be released this summer. His work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate in London, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He studied at Slade School of Fine Art in London. Creed is represented by Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Hauser & Wirth.

Dates: May 4, 2015 – October 23, 2016
Hours: 6:00am – 1:00am daily Subways: 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall; R to Court Street; A, C to High Street; 2, 3 to Clark Street; ; F to York Street;. Buses: B63 to Pier 6; B61 to Atlantic Ave and Hicks Street; B25 to Fulton Ferry Landing; B67 to Jay Street & York Street. Ferry: East River Ferry, New York Water Taxi, or Governors Island Ferry to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is the lead supporter of Martin Creed: Understanding, presented as part of the Public Art Fund at Brooklyn Bridge Park Program.

Work No. 2630, UNDERSTANDING (2016) is presented with the generous support of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and is courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise New York/Rome.

Public Art Fund exhibitions are supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special thanks to the Office of the Mayor, Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, Department of Cultural Affairs, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Public Art Fund brings dynamic contemporary art to a broad audience in New York City by mounting ambitious free exhibitions of international scope and impact that offer the public powerful experiences with art and the urban environment.

Kellie Honeycutt | 212.223.7810 | |
Camille Desprez | 212.223.7074 | |

Contact Us
  • Mailing Address:
  • 334 Furman Street
  • Brooklyn, NY 11201

Explore More