Michael Dean, AfterParty I / AfterParty II, Paris + by Art Basel, Jardin des Tuilleries, Paris, 2022
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Borrowing instruments and strategies from the practices of the sculptor, the writer and the typographer, British artist Michael Dean investigates the relationship between text and physicality. Exploring the three-dimensional  possibilities of language, Dean often ‘spells out’ his words through an alphabet of human-scale shapes, employing industrial and everyday materials such as concrete, steel, MDF, padlocks and dyed books of his writings.

While the transmutation of language is particularly important to Dean’s practice, his sculptures are not intended to be read as words, but rather to be identified as an element of language in their own form and imagined as a word or idea. He attributes a physical form to a personally developed language, based on a series of typographic alphabets, which he designs himself.

Addressing the timeless subject of human intimacy, references to the human body are recurrent throughout Dean’s works. Casts of his and his children's fists, limbs and fingers with drilled out eye holes and tongue muscles appear among the forms. The latter of these is particularly emblematic of  Dean’s overlapping interest in touch and language, since it is the part of the body which can feel, as well as taste, and which also molds words before they leave our mouths.

Michael Dean (b. 1977, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom) lives and works in London.  
Dean has studied at the Goldsmiths University of London and has since gained international stature as one of the four finalists of the 2016 Turner Prize. He participated in the 2017 Skulptur Projekte in Münster and was nominated for the 2018 Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. Dean's works are in several prominent institutional collections, such as Tate, Henry Moore Foundation, Walker Art Center, S.M.A.K., Arts Council Collection, KADIST, The Hepworth Wakefield and Nasher Sculpture Center. 

His most recent solo exhibitions include Jungle is Massive, Herald St, London (2022); Unfuckingtitled, CC Strombeek, Grimbergen (2021); Under the stairs and by the fire., Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2021); The End, Converso, Milan (2020); Tu texto aquí, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2019); Having you on, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2018); Analogue LOL, ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai (2018); Four Fucksakes, Herald St | Museum St, London (2017); Teaxths and Angeruage, Portikus, Frankfurt (2017); and Sightings: Michael Dean or Lost True Leaves, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2016).

Additionally, his work was part of institutional group exhibitions such as A season as a Meditation: Querying the World, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu (2022); WALK!, Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt (2022); Kunstenfestival Watou, Watou, Belgium (2021); Bodies at Stake, MO.CO Montpellier Contemporary, Montpellier (2021); Scrivere Disegnando: When Language Seeks Its Other, Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva (2020); Transparent Things, Goldsmiths CCA, London (2020); Yorkshire Sculpture International, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield (2019); The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture 2018, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield (2018); Against The Wall?, S.M.A.K., Ghent (2018); Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017, Münster (2017); Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2016); Sculptures Also Die, Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina, Florence, (2015); Mirror City, Hayward Gallery London, London (2014); and A History of Inspiration, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013). 


Goldsmiths College, London, United Kingdom

Solo Exhibitions
Palomar, Lake Como, Italy (forthcoming)
Jungle is Massive, Herald St, London, United Kingdom
Smittens For Smoticons, Goswell Road, Paris, France
Tendre-Sur-Estime, Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris, France
A Thestory of Luneliness for Fuck Sake, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, USA
Under the stairs and by the fire., Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium
Garden of Delete, Barakat Contemporary, Seoul, South-Korea
Secret Wing, Timisoara Art Encounters Biennale 2021, Timisoara, Romenia
Unfuckingtitled, CC Strombeek Grimbergen, Belgium
The End, Converso, Milan, Italy
Kiss Emitting Die Odes, Progetto, Lecce, Italy
Transparent Things, Goldmiths CCA, London, United Kingdom
Tu texto aquí, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico
Contemporary Sculpture: Sam Anderson & Michael Dean, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida, USA
Laughing for Crying, St Carthage Hall, Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore, Ireland
Having you on, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom
Analogue LOL, ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai, China
Four Fucksakes, Herald St | Museum St, London, United Kingdom
Teaxths and Angeruage, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany
Sightings: Michael Dean or Lost True Leaves, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, USA
Michael Dean: Sic Glyphs, South London Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Stamen Papers, Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, Italy
The Stamp of anything or that part which never bears leaves or reproductive organs, ordinary underneath and descending, and to absorb, but often upon, often from other parts, often serving other functions, though morphologically comparable, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil
Look at them fuck them fucking laughing, Supportico Lopez, Berlin, Germany
Qualities of Violence, De Appel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Jumping Bones, Extra City, Kunsthal Antwerp, Belgium
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany
Dans l’attente d’autre chose (meanwhile, this is it), Aimable, Paris, France
Sharing Space, with Fred Sandback, David Zwirner, London, United Kingdom
The introduction of muscle, Arnolfini, Bristol, United Kingdom
Sounds of Fucking, Sounds of Dying, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil
nnnhnnh nnh nnhnnnhu nnhnhn, Pied-à-terre, San Francisco, USA
Hah Ahahahahaha ha Hahaha, Herald St, London, United Kingdom
Thoughts, Cubitt, London, United Kingdom
Government, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom
Architecture of a mother’s arms, Supportico Lopez, Berlin, Germany
Cope, Herald St, London, United Kingdom
State of being apart in space, Kunstverein, Freiburg, Germany
Acts of Grass, Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom
The Colour of Public, Kim?, Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga, Latvia
Our Daily Permanence, Fruit, Flowers and clouds: MAK, Austrian Museum of Applied Art, Vienna, Austria
About Painting, ABC, Berlin, Germany  
Our Daily Permanence, Nomas Foundation, Rome, Italy
The look of touch, Lorcan O’neil, Rome, Italy
Face, Supportico Lopez, Berlin, Germany
Symmetry of Intimacy, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, United Kingdom
The Floor is the Object, INDEPENDENT, New York, USA
Tolerance, Scaramouche, New York, USA
V, Ancient & Modern, London, United Kingdom
Near to no attention to fears and without anything between the opposite of tears, works|projects, Bristol, United Kingdom
Her body in the same place as my body, Alessandro De March, Milan, Italy
You can’t reflect in the distance and you don’t reflect distances towards you closing, Feurig59, Berlin, Germany
All the trees bend this way, Guestroom, London, United Kingdom

Group Exhibitions
Esfíngico Frontal, Mendes Wood DM São Paulo, Brazil
Walk, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
A Season of Meditation: Querying the World, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, South Korea
Flesh Arranges Itself Differently, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Days of Inertia, Mendes Wood DM at d'Ouwe Kerk, Retranchement, The Netherlands
Kunstenfestival Watou, Watou, Belgium
Bodies at Stake, MO.CO Montpellier Contemporary, Montpellier, France
The Tongue Says Loneliness, Pradiauto, Madrid, ESDrawn Out, Herald St | Museum St, London, United Kingdom
Bienalsur, International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South, Argentina
Yellow Opening, Mendes Wood DM at d'Ouwe Kerk, Retranchement, Netherlands
EnormousBalls, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium
Via dell’Inferno, Herald St at Galleria Spazia, Bologna, Italy
Scrivere Disegnando/When Language Seeks Its Other, CAC, Geneva, Switzerland
Transparant Things, Goldsmiths CCA, London, United Kingdom
Infinite Sculpture, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal
Summer Exhibition 2019, Royal Academy of Art, London, United Kingdom
Infinite Sculpture, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
Work-Book-Work, ICA Milano, Milan, Italy
Tanya Leighton, Berlin, Germany
Yorkshire Sculpture International, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, United Kingdom
Scripts, Bielefder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany
Give Up The Ghost, Baltic Triennial 13, Talinn, Estonia
Art Hall, Estland Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, USA
Against The Wall?, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium
Raymond, Manifesta 12, Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, Palermo, Italy
Hepworth Prize for Sculpture 2018, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, United Kingdom
Alexandra Bircken, Josh Brand, Matthew Darbyshire, Michael Dean, Cary Kwok, Amalia Pica, Nicole Wermers, Herald Street/Museum Street, London, United Kingdom
Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017, Münster, Germany
More Than Just Words [On the Poetic], Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
Neither. , Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium
Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
50th Anniversary of Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats by Pierre Guyotat, Galerie Azzedine Alaïa, Paris, France
Markers, David Zwirner, London, United Kingdom
Tudo Joia, Bergamim & Gomide, São Paulo, Brazil
Part Tibi, Roma, Nihil, Nomas Foundation, Rome, Italy
Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom
Pierre Guyotat: La matière de nos oeuvre, Galerie Azzedine Alaïa, Paris, France
Pure Fiction, Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris, France
Concrete Islands, Kayne Griffin Corcorran, Los Angeles, USA
House of Commons, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany
The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Literature, Soothsaying and Speaking in Tongues, De Kabinetten van de Vleeshal, Middelburg, The Netherlands
Beautiful Monsters, Gladstone Gallery, New York, USA
Qwaypurlake, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, United Kingdom
Albert The Kid Is Ghosting, David Roberts Art Foundation, London, United Kingdom
Til the stars turn cold, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Speaking Parts, Raven Row, London, United Kingdom
Sculptures Also Die, Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina, Florence, Italy
Safe, Home, Manchester, United Kingdom
Markus Amm | Alexandra Bircken | Michael Dean, Herald St – Golden Sq, London, United Kingdom
The Noing Uv It, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway
The Library Vaccine, Artist Space, New York, USA
The Word Today Serves No One Except To Say To The Grocer Give Me A Pound Of Lentils, Supportico Lopez, Berlin, Germany
Mirror City, Hayward Gallery London, London, United Kingdom
Itself Not So, Lisa Cooley, New York, USA
Essential Loneliness, Taylor Macklin, Zurich, Switzerland
The Mystic Gardener, Bonnefanten Hedge House, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Till the stars turn cold, S1, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Le musée d’une nuit (script for leaving traces), Propos d’Europe 13, Fondation Hippocrène, Paris, France
Manners of Matter, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria
Let Us Mix,Chance & Choice - The Salon, Kim?, Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga, Latvia
A Thousand Doors, Gennadius Library, Athens, Greece
Everything is About to Happen (An ongoing archive of artists’ books), Corvi-Mora and Grengrassi, London, United Kingdom
Annals of the Twenty-Ninth Century, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom
To continue. Notes towards A Sculpture Cycle, Nomas Foundation, Rome, Italy
Bard girls can fly, White Flag Projects, St. Louis, USA
Mediating Landscape, Sala Murat, Bari, Italy
Sister Sara's Theme, Prism, Los Angeles, USA
A History of Inspiration, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Taktilitet, Nils Staerk, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Camera's Blind Spot, MAN Museum, Sardinia, Italy
Testing ground: Disappearing into one, Zabludowicz Collection, London, United Kingdom
Pale Ontology, Marc Foxx, Los Angeles, USA
From Stavanger with love, Galleri Opdahl, Stravanger, Norway
Accidentally on Purpose, QUAD, Derby, United Kingdom
Soundworks, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, United Kingdom
A Reader of Materials and a Writer of Forms, MOT International, Brussels, Belgium
The Dan Cox Library for the Unfinished Concept of Thingly Time, A project by Andy Holden, Cubitt, London, United Kingdom
Beyond the Fragile Geometry of Sculpture, De Vleeshal, Middelburg, Netherlands
We Will Live, We Will See, Zabludowicz Collection, London, United Kingdom
Two Figures in Dense Violet Night, with Becky Beasley, Lido Projects, St Leonards-on Sea, United Kingdom
A Fire in the Masters House is Set, Chapter, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Hieroglyphos, Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp, Belgium
Friendship of the Peoples, Simon Oldfield Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Bold Tendencies, London, United Kingdom
Young London, V22, London, United Kingdom
Nothing Personal, Marcelle Alix, Paris, France
Part of the Process 4, Zero, Milan, Italy
No colour in your cheeks unless the wind lashes your face, IOP, United Kingdom and France
Mind Games, China Art Objects, Los Angeles, USA
A Dying Artist, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, United Kingdom
The Daily Exhaustion: The Exhibition of Artist Publications, The Future, Berlin, Germany
Volume One: Props, Events and Encounters, The Hub, Athens, Greece
The Concrete Show, Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, Italy
Undone: Making and Unmaking in Contemporary Sculpture, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom
Our Blindsides (with Becky Beasley), Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, United Kingdom
V, (with Andrew Lord), Ancient and Modern, London, United Kingdom
Syndrome, Le Magazin, Grenoble, France
Zero Budget Biennial, Rokeby, London, United Kingdom
Fade into you, Herald St, London, United Kingdom
Les Sculptures Meurent Aussi, Kunsthalle Mulhouse, Mulhouse, France
Chasm, The Dictionary of Received Ideas, London, United Kingdom
Fallen, Jan Mol, London, United Kingdom
The young On Paper, Wendt and Friedmann Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Punctuation Marks: text and language in modern British sculpture, Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, United Kingdom
The young people visiting our ruins see nothing but a style, GAM Museum of Modern Art, Turin, Italy
A Corpes & a Textes, La Galerie, Noisy-Le-Sec, Paris, France
Sculpture Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Black Sun, Souterrain, Berlin, Germany
Rehearsal Room, FormContent, London, United Kingdom
Intervention/Decoration, Foreground Projects, Frome, United Kingdom
Italia Italie Italien Italy Wlochy, ARCOS Museum of Contemporary Art Sannio, Benevento, Italy
The mythology of everyday matters, Bilton Centre for Contemporary Art, Red Deer, Canada
Your ramp my slide, FormContent, London, United Kingdom
Yours, T293, Naples, Italy
This is the time (and this is the record of the time), E-Static, Turin, Italy

Public Collections
Arts Council Collection
Henry Moore Foundation
KADIST Foundation
Nasher Sculpture Center
Tate Modern
The Hepworth Wakefield
Walker Art Centre

Honors & Awards

Hepworth Prize for Sculpture (nominee)
Turner Prize (nominee)
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Arts

Days of Inertia
Michael Dean Under the stairs and by the fire.
Yellow Opening
Curated by Fernanda Brenner
Michael Dean The Stamp of Anything or That part which never bears leaves or reproductive organs, ordinarily underneath and descending, and serving to absorb, but often upon, often from other parts, often serving other functions, though morphologically comparable.
Michael Dean Sounds of Fucking, Sounds of Dying
Now Leaves Michael Dean
Michael Dean: Selected Writings Michael Dean
An Introduction to the Principles of Symmetrical Intimacy Vol. I / Michael Dean And The Authors Michael Dean
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