Putto 8, 2003

Michael Rees

Monsters and Programs and Other Beautiful Fictions

Date 3/15/06

Affiliation Digital Artist & Sculptor, Rutgers University


Michael Rees' conceptual art defies category, combining sculpture, animation, performance, video, installation, and computer software programs to express his interest in the body and its connection to mind and spirit. Rees' work references surrealism and other movements in art history, as well as western analytic science and eastern metaphysics. Rees is a self described "pataphysician", a maker of imaginary solutions and an investigator of the truth of contradictions and exceptions.

Rees will present recent works and the conceptual framework surrounding his investigation of mind, body and spirit. The "body" refers to his Monster Series and its attendant animations. These are concerned with the manipulated body and with multiple consciousness folded into an animate constructed body. The "mind" refers to his Sculptural User Interface with its parallel attendance to tendencies in conceptual art and computer science (the readymade, an extension of Joseph Beuys' notion of social sculpture and open source software as a "ready made made ready".) And finally the "spirit": Rees' Ajna Series is a conflation of western analytic science and eastern metaphysics with a special blend of surrealism from Bataille's Visions of Excess.


Michael Rees is professor of Sculpture at the Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. His work traverses a broad range of activities and efforts. He has twice shown at the Whitney Museum and has had many exhibitions in the United States, Germany, Turkey, and Spain. His work has been exhibited in New York galleries and in private and public collections throughout the United States. Rees has an enormous appetite for working in a broad continuum of sculptural practice.

Rees' first solo show in New York at 303 Gallery had a desultory feel built from of clay and plaster, wire, steel studs, and other common materials. With each show, Rees' work continued to evolve consistently employing unusual manufacturing techniques and significant conceptual rigor. He has had solo shows at Basilico Fine Arts, Gorney Bravin and Lee, Universal Concepts Unlimited and Bitforms Gallery. He is represented by Steve Sacks in New York. Recently he installed a permanent public installation In Kansas City, Missouri for the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2004-2005 he has exhibited major pieces at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, CT (curated by Richard Klein); the MARTa Museum in Herford, Germany (curated by Jan Hoet); and the Decordova Museum in Lincoln, Ma (curated by George Fifield).

-- As of 3/15/06