Martin Creed: Mothers, Hauser & Wirth, Savile Row, London

3.00

This twinset of behemoth galleries near Savile Row, opened by Hauser & Wirth last October, feel more like something that you would find in the post-industrial landscape of New York's Chelsea gallery district, than they do premises located on London's historic tailoring street. They opened with an exhibition of work by the late Louise Bourgeois – her menacing, crouching steel spider sculpture patrolling the galleries. And so, now, we welcome Martin Creed to the space to give it to give it a lick of his likeable shtick. The Turner Prize-winning artist often works in a rule-based way – regularly letting his materials dictate the work. Some of the paintings in this exhibition are made by taking a set of brushes and making a single stripe with every size, so that you end up with something that looks like a set of stairs or a stack of colour, in yellow, green or pink. They are like comical Frank Stellas: they are what they are. What they are, in this show, however, is overabundant, and the hang is a bit hodgepodge.

Among the best of these paintings are the works in which it seems as though Creed has looked for all the shades of, say, blue paint he can find – oil, ink, watercolour, you name it – and made a small, horizontal stripe with each until the canvas is full of colour. These are actually quite beautiful – it's as though, no matter how hard he tries, Creed can't stop the beauty coming in. The vertical set of black crosses, painted straight onto the wall, running from a huge cross at the top, to a teensy one at the bottom, by the floor, are funny. Gently humorous, too, are Creed's large photographs of two dogs, Orson (shaggy, big and dumb-looking) and Sparky (a tiny chihuahua that looks perpetually alert and worried). In the video for the artist's single, which he has released alongside this exhibition, it is these two that star. "I was thinking," sings Creed, as Sparky nervously trots past, "and then I wasn't thinking," as Orson bounds across the screen, dopey and oblivious. His interest with these two states (thinking and not) also surfaces in a film in the gallery of a woman's nipple becoming erect and then soft: just a body, reacting, rather than a mind, thinking.

However, in all honesty, there's only really one piece in this exhibition. It's the only one to take this big new space on its own terms: that is to say, it's a sculpture that is enormous and frightening, but also (and here is Creed's particular contribution) perplexing and very funny. It's an enormous neon sign that reads "MOTHERS" in capital letters, which spins around above your head on a giant steel beam at 6'8" high. It speeds up and slows down, and, no matter how many times it goes past, each time, you wonder if this is the time that it will hit you, kill you, crush you. I wonder if the act of mothering, and of giving birth, is intriguing to Creed because it is the most unthinking state – a survival state – a strange engine for humanity. In itself, however this work is persuasive and strange, hilarious and non-macho, especially given its huge size. I like it a great deal. Perhaps Louise Bourgeois would have liked it, too.

To 5 March (020 7287 2300; www.hauserwirth.com)

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'