Michael Jones McKean’s (born 1976, Micronesia) work explores the nature of objects in relation to folklore, technology, anthropology and mysticism. His often complex installations and delicate sculptural tableaus use expansive yet specific orderings of materials, processes and substances to construct dense narrative and associative spaces.
Through an engagement with deep time, timescales and their collapse, McKean de-centers strict anthropocentric readings of events, details and meanings.
Often presenting a range of objects within the museological language of display, McKean upsets reliable definitions of real and replica, natural and synthetic, fact and fiction, past and future employing media as diverse as ancient meteorites, primitive textiles, obsolete technologies, raw clay, psychotropic medicines and prismatic rainbows.
McKean is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Nancy Graves Foundation Award and an Artadia Award as well as fellowships and residencies at The Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The MacDowell Colony, The International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City, The Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art and the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in New York City.
McKean’s work has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston: Parc Saint Leger Centre d’art Contemporain, Nevers, France: Horton Gallery, New York, NY: Manifestation Internationale d’art de Quebec Biennale, Quebec City, Canada: Gentili Apri, Berlin, Germany: The Art Foundation, Athens, Greece: Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada: Project Gentili, Prato, Italy and Shenkar University, Tel Aviv, Israel.