“The space is crowded with jostling, roguish forms and blizzards of words” Adrian Searle, The Guardian
“Dean’s art is dense with meaning, layered with allusion. It’s intensely clever and intenselyvisual. It makes you feel alive.” Fisun Guner, Time Out
“intriguing, complex sculptures” Luke Naessens, This Is Tomorrow
Michael Dean works across sculpture, photography, drawing and performance, all of which are rooted in his writing and the publication of his work as text in both exhibition and book form. For his solo show at the South London Gallery (SLG), Dean presents a new shore of a text in an installation conceived for the SLG’s main space. Concrete, naked steel reinforcement (rebar) and other do-it-yourself materials invoke the physical reality of contemporary urban surfaces.
Works are encountered in an intimate experience that centres viewers as protagonists in what the artist describes as a “typographical texty field or a fXXXing forest of physically abstracted versions of my writing”.
Dean’s explicit intention is for it to matter that it’s you who walks in through the door: that you are so much more than the reader of the text.
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).