Boyce was born in Hamilton, Scotland and studied environmental art at Glasgow School of Art from 1987 to 1990, before completing an MFA in 1997. He is interested in the ideals of modern design and architecture and how these have changed over time. While acknowledging the revolutionary ideas behind modernist design, Boyce examines the legacy of objects of classic design and their changed role today. His practice includes sculpture and installations and also wall paintings, fictional text and photography. In 2009 Boyce represented Scotland at the 53rd Venice Biennale with No Reflections and in 2011 he won the Turner Prize. Recent exhibitions include Devils in the Making, GoMA (2015); Martin Boyce. When Now is Night, RISD, Providence (2015) and Stellar Remnants, Johnen Galerie, Berlin (2014).
An art practice developed in the second half of the twentieth century that broke away from the view of a sculpture as a singular object to be looked at. Instead, installation artists create an environment that may surround the viewer. Many are temporary or created for a particular location.