Selected works by Alan Michael

Alan Michael
Apologia Pro Vita Positivia


oil on canvas

101.5 x 76 x 1.8cm

Alan Michael’s paintings explore the dynamic of cultural image transaction and artistic lineage. Borrowing his subject matter from both art historical and media sources, Michael’s large-scale canvases magnify their appropriated imagery; rendered with a cold, almost mechanical aesthetic, his paintings resonate with a sense of the uncanny, making the familiar seem alien and inured. Through his interwoven referencing, Michael adapts the ideologies associated with various art historical movements to highlight his subjects as hierarchical emblems, situated within, and co-opted by, often conflicting power structures. Untitled (Shoes), for example, is formatted in repetitive panels, reminiscent of Warhol’s pop. Retaining faithfulness to the original photographic sources with a limited grey-scale palette, Michael’s footwear both allures with the glamour of early 20th c. advertising and the style of Russian agitprop. Similar strategies are found throughout Michael’s paintings, which readily mingle 80s fashion, Soviet propaganda, minimalism, and pop. In this careful layering of signifiers, Michael develops his own lexicon which both decodes and furnishes cultural anxiety. Through their sterile aesthetic, Michael’s paintings isolate symbolic fragments of contemporary experience, rendering their meaning as bereft, corrupted, and infinitely seductive.

Alan Michael
Untitled (faces)


oil on canvas

86 x 50.5cm
Alan Michael
Untitled (shoes)


oil on canvas

164 x 113cm
Alan Michael


pencil on paper on canvas

205 x 154cm

Alan Michael's Biography

1967 Born in Glasgow
Lives and Works in Glasgow


In a Rotterdam Cell, Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin

It’s a British Sound, Schurmann Berlin, Berlin
Mood: Casual, Tate Britain, London (at Art Now)
Touch Void, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

Decamp, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
Space to Squabble, Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin

Solo, Modern Art, London
The Invention of Birth Control, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow

Burlesque Schematic, Hotel, London

Solo, Entwhistle, London
Damage, Transmission, Glasgow (with William Copley)

Solo, Glasgow Project Room, Glasgow


Depression, Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht
The Associates, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee (Part of DCA’s 10th Anniversary Exhibitions programme.)

To bring forth and give, Sorcha Dallas Artist’s Print Project, Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow (curated by Sorcha Dallas)
r e p ’ e . t ’ t i o n, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow (closed 21 December to 5 January)
Sphinxx, Modern Art, London (curated by Alexis Vaillant)
Frieze Art Fair, London
Liste, Basel
Legend, Domain de Chamarande, nr Paris (Curated by Alexis Vaillant)
Ritual In The Dark, Hotel, London (with Stephen Sutcliffe)

Hotel at Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin

NADA Art Fair, Ice Palace Studios, Miami
Frieze Art Fair, London
Liste, Basel
Faces, Blondeau Fine Art Services, Geneve, Switzerland (With Adel Abdessemed, Francis Bacon, John Baldessari, Martin Bigum, Benjamin Cottam, Giorgio De Chirico, Jean Dubuffet, Lucian Freud, Douglas Gordon, General Idea, Suzanne Lafont, Kiki Lamers, Loiuse Lawler, Sarah Lucas, Man Ray, Dan McCarthy, Mrzyk & )
First Call, Art Brussels, Brussels
If it didn’t exist you’d have to invent it, The Showroom, London
The Figs Play Fox Dead, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) Art Fair, Miami
Group Exhibition, Art Basel, Basel (with Modern Art)
Group Exhibition, The Armory Show, New York (with Modern Art)
MiArt, Milan

Group Exhibition, Temporary Office Space, Glasgow
Year Zero, Sunderland Contemporary Art Gallery, Sunderland
Trailer, Man in the Holocene Project, London
Souvenir, Hotel, London
The Rheinschau, Art Cologne, Cologne
Group Exhibition, The Rheinschau, Art Cologne, Cologne (with Transmission)
Gertcha, 252 Alexandra Parade, Glasgow
Haute Street, Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam
See Through Mask, Temporary Art Space, Glasgow
Synth, B2 Kunstlerhaus, Leipzig

Minerals in the Water, The Changing Room, Stirling (Alan Michael, Kate Davis and Dirk Bell)
Put out more flags, Sutton Lane, London
The Moment of Fiction, Cooper Gallery, Dundee
This has reached the limit conditions of its own rhetoric, The Modern Institute, Glasgow

Group Exhibition, Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (with Transmission)
Alan Michael, Vangelis Vlahos, Els Hanappe Underground, Athens
Half the World Away, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Centre, Buffalo
Hero, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow
Jean-Luc Blanc, Alan Michael, Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin

Group Exhibition, Glasgow Art Fair, Glasgow (with Charisma-DBF and Transmission)
Angel Dust, Intermedia, Glasgow
Antarctica, Entwhistle, London
Brown Field, Market, Glasgow
Here and Now - Scottish Art 1990-2001, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee
Record Collection, VTO Gallery, Geneva
Stray Show, Seventhreesplit, Chicago

Fear of Jazz, Deutsche Britishe Freundschaft, Berlin
Focus on the Fear, On Destruction, Power, Death, Venetia Kapernekas Fine Art Inc., New York
John I’m Only Dancing, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
Panache, Els Hanappe Underground, Athens
Sweet Dreams, Exedra, Hilversum

Accelerated Learning, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee
Horseriding, Painting and Lovemaking, Deutsche Britische Freundschaft, London
Misty in Roots, Fly, Glasgow (curated by Alex Frost and Alan Michael)
Museum Magogo, Glasgow Project Room, Glasgow
Shake the Disease, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee
You Are Very Important, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh

Add Night to Night, The Showroom, London
Crystal State, Three Month Gallery, Liverpool (part of Arttranspennine98)
Family Credit, The Showroom, London
Fan of Exaggeration, La Cie La Compagnie, Marseille
MFA Exhibition, Tramway, Glasgow
Mountain Madness, The Independent Art Space, Glasgow
Slipstream, Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow
Toga, The Assembly Gallery, Glasgow

Olympic Village, Transmission, Glasgow
Suburban Affair, 27 Cupar Road, Newport-on-Tay
Tutor with an Idea, Three Month Gallery, Liverpool