Mike Nelson | the artist




The artist Mike Nelson
Born Aug 20 1967, Loughborough, United Kingdom.
Lives and works in London, UK.

Style and technique of the artist: Installation art, Sculpture Objects,

In shortlist Turner Prize 2001 and 2007.


Biography and art, auction, artworks, interview, statement, website:









Original artworks, prints, exhibition posters, monographs, books, collectibles.

Nelson builds large scale environments – theatrical, yet seemingly real, elaborate and intensely engaging. They are also enormously time consuming to construct. This installation was built over two months and filled an empty 2,600 square feet space with 16 rooms, a mezzanine, and 190 running feet of corridor.
For a brief period in the mid-nineties the Amnesiacs helped Mike Nelson come to terms with loss. As a mythical biker gang shadowing their tangible cousins, the Amnesiacs built up a new world a sort of fractured ricochet from their (and his) past. Flash backs provided imagery without explanation from which to start to build. Some were of the everyday, like fire and water, whilst others pointed to previous lives and their dense libraries of received images, many never seen outside of print or projection…
Although it was closed to the public for 13 years, Building D of New York’s Essex Street Market wasn’t entirely unoccupied. While busy creating A Psychic Vacuum (2007), an ambitious site-specific project co-organized by Creative Time, Mike Nelson discovered a garret sectioned into cubby holes, apparently for some uncertain illicit activity…
Nelson is known for his large-scale sculptures and installations made up of sequences of meticulously crafted, interconnecting rooms that suggest real or remembered places. Cinematic narrative and the literary constructions of Jules Verne, Jorg Luis Borges, and 1970s science fiction are some of the references running through Nelson’s psychologically charged work which evoke stories of piracy, survival, desertion and the covert groupings of the stateless or the subversive.To encounter it is to become caught up in a dizzying world in which real and fictional experience merge and fracture into multiple perspectives…
It’s quite a strange situation to react to. My main criticism of the Turner Prize is that the exhibition itself seems to be symbolic of the artists’ work, as opposed to actually being a show. Most of my past shows have been in artist-run or outside spaces. It will be interesting to see whether I can still make something that can transcend and transform those circumstances, that’s got its own life and that hasn’t been institutionally killed. 2001


modern & contemporary artists © the-artists.org 1998 -2013