Michael Petry has lived in London since 1981. He studied at Rice University, Houston (BA), London Guildhall University (MA), and has a Doctor in Arts from Middlesex University. Petry is an artist, author and Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) London, and Guest Curator for Futurecity. He co-founded the Museum of Installation, and was Guest Curator at the Kunstakademiet, Oslo, and Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton and was Curator of the Royal Academy Schools Gallery.
Petry is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors (FRBS) and a Brother of the Art Workers Guild. Petry co-authored Installation Art (1994), and Installation in the New Millennium (2003), and authored Abstract Eroticism (1996) and A Thing of Beauty is...(1997). The Trouble with Michael, a monograph of his practice, was published by Art Media Press in 2001. Petry’s book Hidden Histories: 20th century male same sex lovers in the visual arts (2004) was the first comprehensive survey of its kind, and accompanied the exhibition Hidden Histories he curated for The New Art Gallery Walsall. His two-volume book Golden Rain (2008) accompanied his installation for the On the Edge exhibition for Stavanger 2008, European Capital of Culture. Petry’s book, The Art of Not Making: The New Artist Artisan Relationship for Thames & Hudson was published in hardback in 2011 (paperback, 2012).
Petry was the first Artist in Residence at Sir John Soane’s Museum (2010/11) exhibiting two bodies of work, published in Smoke & Mirrors (2011). His recent one man show The Touch of the Oracle at the Palm Springs Art Museum (2012) was accompanied by a ten year career review book distributed by Thames & Hudson. His new book Nature Morte: Contemporary Artists reinvigorate the Still-Life tradition, was published in 4 hard back editions, Thames & Hudson (UK/American), Hirmer (German) and Ludion (Dutch).