getting in shape

Downtown's Discovery Green shapes up with colorful new art exhibit

Downtown's Discovery Green shapes up with colorful new art exhibit

Michael Craig-Martin, High Heel (pink) Discovery Green Houston
Michael Craig-Martin’s colorful works step into Discovery Green.  Photo by Aric Attas

Houston continues to be a draw for national and international artists, as evidenced by pieces such as the “Cloud Column,” by global artist Anish Kapoor, which can be found at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Now, another celebrated international artist has picked Houston as a canvas. Renowned Brit Michael Craig-Martin is partnering with downtown’s Discovery Green Conservancy for a new exhibit that opens August 1 at Discovery Green’s Kinder Lake.

Appropriately dubbed “The Shape of Things: Michael Craig-Martin at Discovery Green,” the new work comprises a series of six sculptures boasting colorful, oversized steel forms that offer a playful perspective of everyday objects and challenge perceptions of space. The effect is like line drawings in the air.

The exhibition in Houston includes six sculptures ranging from 8 to 12 feet high, depicting everyday objects, such as an umbrella, a wheelbarrow, a light bulb, and a shoe. Visitors can walk around the pieces at Discovery Green, observing the extraordinary sculptures in a new context.

This is the first exhibition of the Craig-Martin’s sculptures to be seen in Texas, and only the second venue in the United States, according to a statement.

Craig-Martin’s work has been based on a growing visual vocabulary of everyday objects, as explored through a variety of media, including line drawings, paintings, large-scale installations, prints, and, since 2011, powder-coated steel sculptures. His highly recognizable style is marked by rigorously precise lines in bright, vivid colors.

“I have long been a fan of Michael Craig-Martin’s paintings and graphic work, and when I learned that his sculptures were being showcased in the United States, I instantly thought of Discovery Green as the perfect venue,” said Judy Nyquist, chair of the Discovery Green Conservancy’s public art committee, in a statement.

“These large-scale works are simultaneously simple and bold, elegant and humorous, minimal yet approachable,” she adds. “The over-scaled outlines convey the effect of windows, through which visitors can view and experience the landscape in and around our urban oasis in unexpected ways.”


“The Shape of Things: Michael Craig-Martin at Discovery Green” is on view from August 1 to November 3 at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St.