Michael Dean - 2017


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.

Michael Dean (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, 1977) lives and works in London.
His most recent solo exhibitions include Converso, Milan (2020); Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2019); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2018); ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai (2018).
Additionally, his work has been included in institutional group exhibitions such as 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.


Michael Dean






191 x 174 x 65 cm




Courtesy of the Artist and Mendes Wood DM São Paulo, Brussels, New York

Interested in this piece?

contact us

Art project

Don’t ever miss a piece of our programme. Revive our events through live recordings available on our YouTube channel or listen to inspiring Spotify podcasts.
Discover our collections