Michael Craig-Martin was born in Dublin Ireland in 1941. He grew up and was educated in the United States, studying Fine Art at the Yale University School of Art. He came to Britain on completion of his studies in 1966, and has lived and worked there ever since.
His first solo exhibition was at the Rowan Gallery, London in 1969. He participated in the definitive exhibition of British conceptual art, “The New Art” at the Hayward Gallery in 1972. Throughout his career, through work in many different media, he has explored the expressive potential of commonplace objects and images. His best known works include An Oak Tree, of 1973, in which he claimed to have changed a glass of water into an oak tree; his large-scale black and white wall drawings; and his intensely coloured paintings, installations, and public commissions.
Craig-Martin is well known to have been an influential teacher at the Goldsmiths College London, and is considered a key figure in the emergence of the young British artists in the early 90′s. Amongst his former students are Ian Davenport, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Liam Gillick, Sarah Lucas, Julian Opie, and Fiona Rae.