Liam Gillick

Artist, writer, critic, teacher, networker

An assiduous student of first-wave Conceptual greats – consider the Donald Judd DNA in his coloured Plexiglas sculptures, the Lawrence Weiner in his poetic wall texts, the 1960s vibe of his nudges towards group activity – Gillick is getting to be a grand if not-so-old man himself, ensconced as sharp analyst of cultural change and essential connective node in the artworld. Part of the furniture, even, or so his work’s appearance in 30 group shows this year might suggest. He’s still self-challenging, though. This year Gillick revisited the soundworks he’s made for a show at Eva Presenhuber, while his editions were the subject of a show at Esther Schipper. In Manchester he unexpectedly collaborated with New Order, designing their stage show in a rare move into mainstream territory. ‘Their music’, he said at the time, ‘continues to create new levels of intensity and control based on a constant testing of fundamental structures.’ Words, you suspect, by which Gillick has long steered.