Artist Spotlight: Michael Petry

Beutiful on the surface, Petry's work has depth in both wit and scholarship.

BY Christopher Harrity

March 17 2012 1:00 AM ET

PALM SPRIGS ART MUSEUM MICHAEL PETRY INSTALLATION X560 | ADVOCATE.COMThe following photographs, all taken by Petry, are from the book The Touch of the Oracle. The book lushly documents his work in glass, wood, leather, pearls, string, and precious metals over a 10-year period. Much of the work here is in Petry's same-titled exhibit at the Palm Springs Art Museum (March 17-July 29), which looks at his diverse artistic output and features the new glass installation Joshua D’s Wall, made in Murano (Venice) at the Berengo Studios and a new sound installation with his 25- year performance partners John Powell (film music composer) and Gavin Greenaway (conductor and composer).

Petry, born El Paso, Texas, in 1960, has lived in London since 1981. He studied at Rice University, Houston (B.A.), London Guildhall University (M.A.), and has a doctor in arts from Middlesex University. Petry is an internationally exhibited artist, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in London, and curator of the Royal Academy Schools Gallery. He cofounded the Museum of Installation and was guest vurator at the Kunstakademiet, Oslo, and tesearch gellow at the University of Wolverhampton. Petry coauthored Installation Art (1994) and Installation in the New Millennium (2003), and authored Abstract Eroticism (1996) and A Thing of Beauty is... (1997). Petry’s book Hidden Histories: 20th Century Male Same Sex Lovers in the Visual Arts (2004) is the first comprehensive survey of its kind and accompanied the exhibition "Hidden Histories" he curated for The New Art Gallery Walsall.

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