Our Sculptors

Michael Petry FRSS

Michael Petry uses glass, wood, leather, pearls and other seductive materials in his abstract yet erotic works.
Contact email
Discipline
Installation/Land/Site-specific
Material
Glass
Mixed media
Wood/Paper
Region
London

Michael Petry (b. Texas, 1960) has lived in London since 1981. He studied at Rice University, Houston (BA), London Guildhall University (MA), and has a Doctorate in Arts from Middlesex University. Petry is an artist, author and Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) London, and Guest Curator for Futurecity. He co-founded the Museum of Installation, was Guest Curator at the Kunstakademiet, Oslo, Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton and was Curator of the Royal Academy Schools Gallery. Petry is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors (FRBS) and a Brother of the Art Workers Guild. Petry co-authored Installation Art (1994), and Installation in the New Millennium (2003), and authored Abstract Eroticism (1996) and A Thing of Beauty is...(1997). The Trouble with Michael, a monograph of his practice, was published by Art Media Press in 2001.

Petry's book Hidden Histories: 20th century male same sex lovers in the visual arts (2004) was the first comprehensive survey of its kind, and accompanied the exhibition Hidden Histories he curated for The New Art Gallery Walsall. His two-volume book Golden Rain (2008) accompanied his installation for the On the Edge exhibition for Stavanger 2008, European Capital of Culture.

Petry was the first Artist in Residence at Sir John Soane's Museum (2010/11) exhibiting two bodies of work, published in Smoke & Mirrors (2011). His one man show The Touch of the Oracle at the Palm Springs Art Museum (2012) was accompanied by a ten year career review book. Petry's work was included in the 2015 Frontiers Reimagined at the Venice Biennale, and his one-man show AT the Core of the Algorithm accompanied his Campbell Lectures at Rice University,

His books include The Art of Not Making: The New Artist Artisan Relationship for Thames & Hudson (hardback, 2011,paperback, 2012) and Nature Morte: Contemporary Artists reinvigorate the Still-Life tradition (2013 in 4 hard back editions, T&H [UK/American], Hirmer [German] and Ludion [Dutch]. Both books had international touring exhibitions based on the book in European museums. His upcoming book The WORD is Art (October 2018) also by T&H looks at text in contemporary art.