Michael Landy

Born 1963 London, Michael Landy lives and works in London. Graduated from Goldsmiths College (1988).

Landy’s concern with the attribution of value and ownership have remained central to his practice, notably in Break Down (2001), in which each and every one of the artist’s 7,227 possessions were systematically destroyed by Landy and his assistants over the course of two weeks in a former C&A department store building in Oxford Street, London. In a similar fashion, for Art Bin (South London Gallery, 2010, subsequently presented at the 2014 Yokohama Triennale), Landy constructed an enormous Perspex cube into which artists were invited to dispose of works they felt to be creative failures. 

In a continuation from his interrogation of value, the expendability of labour, possession and ownership, for Scaled-Down (2018) at Thomas Dane Gallery, Landy subjected many of his recent artworks to an industrial waste compaction process that transformed them into densely packed cubes, a direct critique of art’s entanglement with the commodity in commercial capitalism.

His work is held in public and private collections including Arts Council of England, London; British Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Selected solo exhibitions include Michael Landy's Welcome to Essex, Firstsite, Colchester (2021); Michael Landy's Break Down: 20 Years, Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2021); What's Left?, Andriesse - Eyck Gallery, Amsterdam (2020); Scaled-Down, Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2018); Michael Landy. Breaking News, Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York (2017); Out Of Order, Tinguely Museum, Basel​ (2016); Breaking News, Galerie Sabine Knust, Munich (2015); Saints Alive, Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City (2014); Saints Alive, National Gallery, London (2012); and Acts of Kindness, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney (2011). Selected group exhibitions include UnNatural History, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry (2021); Cranach: Artist & Innovator, Compton Verney Art Gallery (2020); Duchamp Threads the Needle, David Nolan Gallery, New York (2020); Should I Stay or Should I Go?, Patrick Heide Gallery, London (2019); Drawing Biennial 2019, Drawing Room, London (2019): Open for Business, Riga Bienniale (2018); In My Shoes: Art and the Self since the 1990s, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (2018); New Sculpture, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2017); PRIÈRE DE TOUCHER -The Touch of Art, Museum Tinguely, Basel (2016); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2015); ART Fahrenheit 415: Sailing Into The Sea of Oblivion, Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama (2014); and Art under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm, Tate Britain, London (2013).

Awards include a CBE (2021).

Last updated: 07.05.2021

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