This year’s Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce has been working with shapes, pattern and forms inspired by French artists Jan and Joel Martel’s concrete trees, designed for a garden at the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris.
In this video from TateShots, he discusses the way the forms he derived from the trees have been incorporated in and informed his work.
Talking about Boyce in the Guardian, Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate said, “He has consistently reinvented the language of early modern art and he is deeply engaged in that. But he makes work that does not depend on an understanding of early modern art: it is beautiful and arresting in its own right.” But does knowing that Boyce’s work is so thoroughly immersed in these specific early modernist forms and ideas make a difference to you as the viewer? Do you think you have the same connection with a work if you know nothing about it and the artist, or is your experience enhanced (or even diminished) by knowing about the processes behind a work? How much of the story behind a work do you need (or want) to know?