Michael Wang (visual artist)
Michael Wang (visual artist)
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Michael Benjamin Wang
May 12, 1981
|Citizenship||United States of America|
Michael Benjamin Wang (born May 12, 1981 in Olney, Maryland) is an American artist based in New York. Wang’s work uses systems that operate at a global scale as media for art: climate change, species distribution, resource allocation and the global economy. His works include Carbon Copies, an exhibition linking the production of artworks to the release of greenhouse gases, World Trade, a series tracing the trade in steel from the World Trade Center following the attacks of September 11, 2001; and Extinct in the Wild, a project that brings species that no longer exist in nature, but that persist under human care, into spaces of art. Wang’s work has been shown in Europe, North and South America, and Asia, most recently at LMCC's Arts Center at Governors Island in New York City, Manifesta 12 in Palermo, Italy, the Swiss Institute Contemporary Art New York, the Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, the Fondazione Prada in Milan, and Foxy Production in New York.
Wang received his BA in Social Anthropology and Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 2003, an MA in Performance Studies from New York University in 2004, and an M.Arch from Princeton University in 2008.
Extinct in New York (2019)
Extinct in New York was one of two inaugural exhibitions at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Arts Center at Governors Island in the fall of 2019. The work returned to New York City species of plants, algae, and lichen known historically from the city but that no longer grow wild in any of the five boroughs. The work was curated by Swiss Institute and was covered in Artforum, Fast Company and Hyperallergic.
The Drowned World (2018)
For Manifesta 12 in Palermo, Italy, Wang presented a series of works titled The Drowned World. These works drew connections between ancient organic processes and climate change. The works included a pool tinted green by cyanobacteria and a living recreation of a Carboniferous period forest planted within the ruins of a coal gas plant.
Extinct in the Wild (2014-)
Wang's ongoing project Extinct in the Wild was first presented at the Fondazione Prada in Milan in 2014. The work brings species of plants and animals that are no longer found in nature--but persist under human care--into spaces of art.
Earlier works include the series Rivals (2014-), a series that engages the history of the readymade and its relationship to corporate capitalism, and Carbon Copies (2012-), a series that represents the carbon footprints of well known contemporary artworks as a set of sculptural objects. These objects, which the artist calls "Carbon Copies" are in turn sold in exchange for carbon offsets, erasing the carbon footprints of the works they represent.
Wang has written extensively on art, architecture, technology and the environment.
His writing has appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Texte zur Kunst, and Mousse Magazine. He published an essay on the “back breeding” of the extinct aurochs in Cabinet Magazine, and an essay on the work of artist Ryan Trecartin in the reader Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century.
In the media
- Mazur, Rebecca (September 25, 2012). "Portrait of an Artist: Jesse A. Green and Michael Wang". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
- "Michael Wang at LMCC's Arts Center at Governors Island". www.artforum.com. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Brown, Evan Nicole (2019-10-24). "These plants went extinct in NYC. Now, an artist is reintroducing them". Fast Company. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "A Greenhouse for Extinct Flora". Hyperallergic. 2019-10-19. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Culture Clash: Nature and Civilization Face Off in the Art of Michael Wang". NRDC. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Review: Manifesta 12 Conjures Up a Natural Order in Extremis, From Erotic Plant Parties to Civilian Bombings". artnet News. 2018-06-19. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Specie estinte rinascono in vetrina da Prada l'arte incontra la scienza - la Repubblica.it". Archivio - la Repubblica.it (in italiano). Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- ""Extinct in the Wild" at the Prada Foundation". Eastwest. 2017-04-06. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Dooren, Author Thom van (2018-10-12). "Curating with care: A response to Michael Wang's "Extinct in the Wild"". Thom van Dooren. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- McGarry, Kevin (2012-01-12). "Out There | Michael Wang's 'Carbon Copies'". T Magazine. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Price, Andrew (2012-01-06). "Beautiful Sculptures Offset The Impact Of The Contemporary Art That Inspired Them". Fast Company. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Smith, William S.; Smith, William S. (2020-05-04). "Climate Change Has Already Transformed Everything About Contemporary Art". ARTnews.com. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Foundation, Joan Mitchell. "Artist Programs » Artist Grants". joanmitchellfoundation.org. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "EXTINCT IN THE WILD – Fondazione Prada". www.fondazioneprada.org. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Michael Wang - Artsy
- Michael Wang at LMCC’s Art Center at Governors Island
- SI OFFSITE | Michael Wang: Extinct in New York | Swiss Institute
- Michael Wang: Extinct in New York - LMCC
- Portrait of an Artist: Jesse A. Green and Michael Wang
- Michael Wang, Arts Center Residency 2019 - LMCC
- Painters & Sculptors Program 2017 Michael Wang
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