Work No. 2210: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT
May 19, 2021–March 27, 2022
Work No. 2210: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT (2015), one of the most iconic works by Martin Creed (b. 1968, Wakefield, UK), is a 70-foot-long neon sculpture displaying a single line of unpunctuated, rainbow hued text that reads “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.” Installed on the south-facing façade of the Herzog & de Meuron building, the work is an expression of Creed’s desire to communicate, connect, and provoke. According to the artist, “50% about what I make and 50% about what other people make of it.”
Both playful and minimalist, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT is visually spectacular in its neon audacity, yet it also encourages a more contemplative response. While the phrase is at first familiar and reassuring, it gently suggests that everything might not be alright, pointing to the heightened anxieties and inequities of this moment.
The sculpture was first presented in 1999 as a temporary public art commission for the Clapton Portico in Hackney, East London, which was derelict at the time. Built in 1825, the Portico was home to the London Orphan Asylum until a local typhoid epidemic in 1867 forced the orphans to be relocated. Both the genesis and the first iteration of EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT resonate with current circumstances around COVID-19, which is lessening in some places and continues to devastate in others, a disparity all too often linked to economic and racial privilege. The Parrish installation aims to inspire critical thought as well as optimism: like pandemics past, these difficult times will end and so too, the systems that perpetuate them.
Creed’s humanist, inclusive work often attempts to upend social norms. The phrase draws on the comforting words Creed was offered by a friend: “No one can really tell you everything is going to be alright, but despite that, many times in my life I have been very comforted by people saying something like that to me.” The resulting work resonates poignantly now.
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT is emblematic of Creed’s artistic practice, which uses language, ordinary materials, and everyday interventions to communicate with a large public. It was Creed’s first neon work, a material that he has subsequently used numerous times to illuminate other words and phrases in a variety of scales, including “DON’T WORRY,” “FEELINGS,” “FRIENDS,” “LOVE,” “MOTHERS,” and “UNDERSTANDING.”
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT is the most recent addition to Field of Dreams an outdoor sculpture exhibition in the Parrish meadow, featuring works by an international, multi-generational group of artists who engage and respond to the Museum’s architecture and landscape. Other variations of the artwork have been installed across internationally renowned institutions and buildings, most recently at Braemar Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Work No. 3435, 2020); Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch New Zealand, (Work No. 2314, 2015); MMOMA, Moscow, Russia (Work No. 1081, 2010); Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, UK (Work No. 975, 2008); MOCA Detroit, Michigan, USA (Work No. 790, 2007); and Tate Modern, London, UK (Work No. 203, 1999). The version to be presented at the Parrish was first shown at the Aspen Art Museum as part of the exhibition Stories We Tell Ourselves (2015) and at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles (2019).
Work No. 2210: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT is organized by Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Martin Creed was born in Wakefield, UK in 1968 and grew up in Glasgow. Today he lives and works in London. He has exhibited extensively worldwide, and in 2001 won the Turner Prize for Work 227: The lights going on and off. Major solo exhibitions and projects include: Kistefos Museet, Hodgkin and Creed: Inside Out, Oslo, Norway (2019); Centro Botín, Martin Creed, Santander, Spain (2019); Martin Creed: ARTIST ROOMS, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK (2017); SAY CHEESE! Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, The Netherlands (2017); Martin Creed, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria (2017); Work No. 2630: UNDERSTANDING, Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York NY (2016); Martin Creed. The Back Door, Park Avenue Armory, New York NY (2016); What You Find, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, UK (2016); Kunstverein Heilbronn, Heilbronn, Germany (2015); Martin Creed. What’s the point of it?, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2014); Hauser & Wirth and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York NY (2013); The Warhol, Pittsburgh PA (2013); Work No. 202, National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa, Canada (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago IL (2012); Work No. 1059, The Scotsman Steps, Edinburgh, UK (2011); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas TX (2011); Things, The Common Guild, Glasgow, UK (2010); Work No. 409, Royal Festival Hall Elevator, London, UK (2010); Work No. 245, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France (2009); Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan (2009); and the Duveen’s Commission, Tate Britain, London, UK (2008).
The Parrish Art Museum extends special thanks to Hauser & Wirth for their participation and generosity in support of the installation of this project.