Turner Prize Nominee Michael Dean Will Bring It All Back Home to Newcastle

The in-demand young artist will create a major work for the Baltic gallery, which is also showing Lubaina Himid, winner of this year's Turner Prize.

Michael Dean's 2016 Turner Prize installation, Tate Britain. Image courtesy of: © Tate and Herald St, London. Photo credit: Joe Humphrys.

Turner Prize nominee Michael Dean, whose work was recently acquired by the Tate in London, is returning home to Newcastle in the north of England, making a major piece for a solo show next year at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, artnet News has learned.

“He was one of the artists I really wanted to show,” says Sarah Munro, recalling her determination to present Dean’s work at the Baltic after being appointed its director two years ago. In 2015, Munro headed south from Glasgow’s Tramway to take over the former flour mill converted into a cavernous contemporary art space on the river Tyne in Gateshead-Newcastle. She told artnet News that Dean’s work will fill the main gallery on the Baltic’s third level—and hopes the large-scale installation will travel.

Dean, who was born in 1977, is an in-demand artist. He created a standout work for the Turner Prize Exhibition in 2016: his installation, (United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016), included a pile of £20,435 in pennies, around $30,000 in cents. In other words, one penny short of the amount of money the UK government says is the minimum that two adults and two children need to survive for a year in the UK. It also featured monolith-type figures cast in rough concrete and scrappy fly posters. His gritty conceptual work should feel at home in the north-eastern city that has its fair share of Brutalist architecture and areas awaiting regeneration. 

Michael Dean. Photo by Athena Papadopoulos.

Last year the young artist, who is based in London, gained critical and commercial attention with solo shows at the South London Gallery and at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. He was also included in this year’s edition of Skulptur Projekte Münster with a work that occupied the patio of the LWL Museum. Supportico Lopez of Berlin presented his work at a solo booth at Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2016. Dean’s London gallery, Herald St., showed his work at the fair this year.

Meanwhile, another Turner Prize artist, this time this year’s winner, will also get a solo show at the Baltic next year. Munro revealed at the Turner prize award ceremony that Lubaina Himid will have a solo show. It will feature a new commission and is due to open on May 11, 2018 (through September 30). The Zanzibar-born, British artist is planning to use the colorful patterns of East African kangas to produce a series of flags based on the traditional clothing, which will suspended in the the gallery space.

Lubaina Himid, Naming the Money (2004) at “Navigation Charts”, Spike Island. Photo Stuart Whipps, courtesy the artists, Hollybush Gardens, and National Museums, Liverpool.

Lubaina Himid, Naming the Money (2004) at “Navigation Charts”, Spike Island. Photo Stuart Whipps, courtesy the artists, Hollybush Gardens, and National Museums, Liverpool.

Further details of Dean’s show is due to be announced early next year, along with the program of the Great Exhibition of the North this summer. The Baltic and the nearby Sage concert hall Gateshead, which was designed by Norman Foster, are key institutions in the wide-ranging event, which will take place across the city. The Great Exhibition, which is due to open on June 22, 2018 (until September 9) has been backed by the UK government to the tune of £5 million ($6.7 million).

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