Michelle Lopez is a material manipulator, a conceptualist, a builder, a wishful magician, who researches cultural phenomenon and its material to push it out to its Nth-degree. With that comes an inventive spirit by stretching the industrial processes of crafting consumerism in all of its many forms. She bends plywood to make body-sized wilted skateboards, mirrors glass to build smoke clouds out of silver nitrate, creates gold thrones out of lead tendril sticks. In her latest body of work, she created a House of Card installation that has suspended rubble and steel rope balancing a fragile scaffolding system. Pulled glass punctures the space to act as invisible figures, touched at its tips with silver. Lopez has covered a car in leather to magnify an ultimate fetishization and has created a 30-foot Blue Angel out of stainless steel, crumpled against the Bass Museum in Miami. She then decided to go in reverse by making all of the work almost disappear as a reflection of our cultural moment. Other recent work involves the usage of flutists and actors (as more material) to mimic/amplify a space in order to activate phantom gestures and diffuse forms of figuration.


Michelle Lopez has taught at UC Berkeley, Yale School of Art (Sculpture), SVA MFA, and now heads Sculpture & Installation in the Fine Arts Program at UPenn. Lopez is standing faculty in the Penn MFA program and based in New York.