Artist Michael Dean’s work explores themes of language, the act of writing and the struggle to communicate in a variety of forms, including sculpture, photography, poetry, plays, publications and performance.
Often made of concrete forms cast in flexible plastic bags, Dean’s sculptures sometimes vaguely resemble letters of the alphabet and are occasionally installed on top of Dean’s self-published books filled with gibberish or nonsensical phrases printed in handmade, pictogram lettering. These abstract, industrial objects, however, project an extraordinary humanity: often slightly hunched, slumped, or leaning, the sculptures take on human qualities that elicit our sympathy. We feel for these slightly downtrodden creatures and connect with their plight. For his exhibition, Dean created new works in response to the unique environs of the Nasher. Sightings: Michael Dean is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States.
Michael Dean Biography
Michael Dean (b. 1977, Newcastle Upon Tyne), solo shows in 2016 at the South London Gallery, and at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, US.
Recent solo shows include Qualities of Violence, de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam and Jumping Bones, Extra City Kunstal, Antwerp (2015); HA HA HA HA HA HA, Kunst Forum Ludwig, Aachen (2014), The Upper Room at David Zwirner (with Fred Sandback), London (2014), Arnolfini, Bristol (2013), Cubitt, London (2012), Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2012), Kunstverein, Freiburg (2011), Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London (2011) and Nomas Foundation, Rome (2010).
Group shows include Albert the Kid Is Ghosting, The David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2015), Sculptures Also Die, curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, CCC Strozzina, Florence (2015), The Noing Uv It, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen (2014), What is Real, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, The Hayward Gallery, London (2014), MIRRORCITY, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, The Hayward Gallery, London (2014), Manners of Matter, curated by Chris Sharp, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2014), Thousand Doors, curated by Iwona Blazwick, Whitechapel at The Gennadius Library, Athens (2014), A History of Inspiration, curated by Adnan Lyildiz, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012+2011), Beyond the Fragile Geometry of Sculpture, curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, De Vleeshal, Middelburg (2011), We Will Live, We Will See, curated by Pavel S. Pys, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2011) and Sculpture Also Dies, curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, Kunsthalle Mulhouse (2010).
“I don’t want to rob people of the potential of misunderstanding what I am talking about” – Michael Dean
Presenting Sponsor: Martha and Max Wells
The 360 videography project is supported by Suzanne and Ansel Aberly: this support enables digital recording of all 360 Speaker Series programs and the creation of an online archive for learners of all ages. Additional support for 360 Speaker Series provided by Sylvia Hougland.