Michail Pirgelis

Artist, Sculptor

Michail Pirgelis

Michail Pirgelis lives and works in Cologne. He studied under Rosemarie Trockel at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2009 Master class/Akademiebrief). Pirgelis sources his material from airplanes, decommissioned carcasses mostly found in the Mojave Desert and Arizona. However, in a process of meticulous abstraction, he subverts the specificity of the airplane’s husk. His method engages shape and surface head-on, exposing marginal details and working toward the bare aluminum. The artist explores the limits of our understanding of objects and radically expands our experience of the sculptural.

For 2022, solo exhibitions are planned at Sprüth Magers, Berlin, and at Fuhrwerkswaage, Cologne. Further solo exhibitions include Braunsfelder, Cologne (2019, with Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt); Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Dueren (2016, with David Ostrowski); Autocenter Berlin (2015) and Artothek, Cologne (2011). Selected group exhibitions include a.o. Villa Sarre, Potsdam and byvier, Cologne (both 2021); Ludwig Forum, Aachen and Gewölbe, Cologne (both 2020); DuMont Kunsthalle, Cologne; Kunsthalle Nuremberg; Haus N, Athens; Riot, Gent (all 2019); Athens Biennale, Kunstverein Reutlingen and Marta Herford (all 2018); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2015); Istanbul Modern (2014), Bundeskunsthalle Bonn (2013); Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2012); Thessaloniki Biennale (2011), Kunstmuseum Bonn (2010) and Stadtmuseum Dusseldorf (2005). 

Pirgelis was shortlisted for DESTE Prize, Athens and 5×5, Castelló (both 2013). Numerous awards and fellowships include the Berlin Fellowship from Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2013), Audi Art Award for ‘New Positions’ at Art Cologne (2010), Adolf Loos Prize from the Van den Valentyn Foundation, Cologne (its first recipient ever, in 2008) and Villa Romana Prize, Florence (2007).