Untitled (after Rietveld)
© Martin Boyce

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Untitled (after Rietveld) 2000
  • Scottish Art
In this work Boyce critiques modernism through his reinterpretation of the Dutch architect and furniture designer, Gerrit Thomas Rietveld’s revolutionary ‘Hanging Lamp’. Rietveld used standard Philips tubular incandescent bulbs and fittings and simply hung them from the ceiling using stock electric wiring. The vertical and horizontal bulbs were hung parallel to each other to form, in effect, an abstract light sculpture. Boyce has hung three fluorescent tubes from the ceiling, but instead of small elegant tubes and fittings, these are the sort one finds in basic office accommodation. The metal chain hanging down from the vertical tube suggests that the fitting has broken and that no-one could be bothered to fix it.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.


A general term used to describe the various movements in art from the late 19th century to the 1960s, encompassing a broad range of styles.

Abstract art, Modernism


  • Acc. No. GMA 5127
  • Medium Fluorescent lights and fixings
  • Size Dimensions variable
  • Credit Presented by Alexander Schröder, Neue Gallery, Berlin, 2010