Michael Dean discusses his practice, in which he gives physical form to the written word. With writing at the heart of his work, he abstracts and distorts his words into an alphabet of human-scale shapes, using mundane industrial materials such as concrete, steel, soil, sand and corrugated sheet metal. While not intended to be to be read as recognisable words, the sculptures retain an element of language in their forms.
Beyond their linguistic suggestion, Dean's objects often reference the body. Tongues, limbs, eyes, and fists echo the viewer's own shape and create an affecting and sympathetic environment - both visceral and visual.
Michael Dean (b. 1977, Newcastle upon Tyne) lives and works in London, His installation Tender Tender was included in this year’s Skulptur Projekte Münster. Recent solo exhibitions include Teaxths and Angeruage, Portikus, Frankfurt (2017); Four Fucksakes, Herald St, London (2017); Sic Glyphs, South London Gallery, London (2016); Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2016); Lost True Leaves, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2016). In summer 2018, Dean will have a major solo exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.
This talk is part of the Testing Ground: Master Class programme, a week long intensive with leading international artists sharing their expertise with a small group of emerging artists from around the country. Led by artist Doug Fishbone, this year's artists are: Ericka Beckman, Jake Chapman, Michael Dean and Richard Wentworth. Each of the artists, in addition to working with the emerging artists, will present a free evening lecture to the public about their work.
Master Class: Guest Artist’s Talks
Wed 24 January: Richard Wentworth
Thur 25 January: Jake Chapman
Sat 27 January: Ericka Beckman
Sun 28 January: Michael Dean