Object lesson: Michael Craig-Martin’s paintings of ​Covid era items – in pictures | Art and design

Lockdown was a productive time for Michael Craig-Martin: most of the works in his new show at Amsterdam’s Reflex gallery were created in its grip. He continued his longstanding project of painting everyday objects in minimal style, their clean lines and smooth surfaces reflecting the blandness at the heart of consumer culture. This time, among the Apple Watches, wheelie suitcases and noise-cancelling headphones, we find the true symbol of the Covid era: a face mask. “When we try to understand past civilisations – the stone age, ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Aztecs – we do so by examining the objects they created and used,” says Craig-Martin. “My work is like an archaeology of the present.”

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