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Michel François

Michel François claims no signature style. Instead, he creates a web of shifting connections between his works and each different exhibition. His conceptual practice includes sculpture, video, photography, printed matter, painting and installation work. The titles of his solo exhibitions often point to his interest in contemporary reality, offices, domestic environments, surveillance, psychology and the police state. To cite just a few: State of Being, Urban Placarding, Expanded Bureau, Déjà vu, Theatre of Operations and Pieces of Evidence. The meanings in his works accumulate over time and vary according to their disposition in space, or the context. In a manner similar to that of the Arte Povera artists, François uses great economy of means to transform seemingly uncomplicated objects and materials, or traces of past events, into deeply resonant carriers of meaning. His work can be seen as exploration of cause and effect, and the ways in which simple gestures can change the status of an object or have important consequences.

Michel François (b. 1956, Saint-Trond, Belgium) lives and works in Brussels. In 1999, he represented Belgium at the 48th Venice Biennale with Ann Veronica Janssens. Recent museum exhibitions include Contre Nature, BOZAR, Brussels (2023); Panopticon, Yarat Contemporary Art Centre, Baku (2022); Pièce à conviction, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp (2016); Nineteen thousand posters. 1994-2016, Mac’s Grand Hornu (2011) and Frac île- de-France (2016); Plans d’évasion, SMAK, Ghent and Iac Vileurbanne (2009-10); Salon Intermédiaire, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2002); La Plante en nous, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2000); Kunsthalle Bern (2000).

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Selected Images

Selected media

  • Michel François in conversation with Thierry de Duve

    On the occasion of his solo exhibition Contre nature at Bozar, Brussels (2023)

  • In Conversation with François Piron

    On the occasion of his exhibition at Xavier Hufkens (2020)

  • In Conversation with Gabriel Kuri

    On the occasion of his exhibition at Xavier Hufkens (2017)