Kris Martin

Kris Martin

After thrilling fairgoers at Miami Beach's Art Basel 2008, Kris Martin's massive For Whom..., 2007 was displayed at Fairchild for two art seasons through the generosity of Ms. Adrienne Arsht.

For a photo gallery of Kris Martin's art, click here.


For Whom...,2007


No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, no. 17 (Meditation) 1624 (published) 

The Bell was originally installed in 1929 in a Belgian church. During World War II, the Bell was stolen from the church and taken to Germany where it was rediscovered in the 1950s. The Bell was returned to its original location in Belgium and was in use until August 2, 1971, when, during a requiem-or a mass for the dead-a slight and nearly invisible crack occurred. 

"For whom the bell tolls" John Donne's deeply symbolic quote that also served as
Ernest Hemingway's guideline for his homonymous best-seller, refers to the responsibility of every individual in society. It is a warning to all of us that we should not only be aware of our own life but also our death, whose occurrence we can not control. 

Artist Kris Martin removed the Bell's original function: to serve as an audible toll to know the time, a call for collective prayer or the commemoration of the deceased, and essentially admonished the reflection of all invisible things and proved that a bell that does not toll can be anything but meaningless. 

The Bell is made out of solid bronze, weighs nearly four tons and hangs from a steel construction at a height of 20 feet. The pendulum-free Bell is driven by a soundless magnetic motor. In contrast to its heavy dead load and the complexity and dimension of the whole installation, it runs nearly silent and only the swinging in the air is audible. The Bell is an original piece from 1929 with filigree ornamentation. It was detached from its original location-the church room-by Kris Martin.

About the Artist


Kris Martin was born in 1972, in Kortrijk, Belgium, and he is currently based in Ghent, Belgium. His career has gained momentum in both the United States and Europe since his first solo show in 2004. 

He has had at least one solo show each year since then, culminating with a combined eight solo shows in 2008 and 2009. Martin has shown works all over the world including Dusseldorf, Berlin, Barcelona, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London. He is best known for his massive, simple sculptures that drip with meaning and purpose such as For Whom…, (2007).


Art at Fairchild is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lin Lougheed and Aaron I. Fleischman.