Biography of the Director

Michael Rees
Associate Professor
Director, The Center for New Art
(973) 720-3807

Michael Rees is an accomplished sculptor who has exhibited widely and has been written about in many books on the subject of art and digital media. He was one of the first sculptors in the world to blend the use of computer-aided design, 3d printing and automated manufacture into a conceptual art practice, pioneering the use of new media in sculpture since the early 1990’s.

Rees’ work sits at the intersection of the themes of figuration, language, biology, technology and the social to weave a sculptural mélange. It often addresses figuration through a variety of media, including aspects of an embodied dynamic investigating incorporation, mind and imagination.

His work with new media was celebrated in the 2001 Whitney Bitstreams exhibition, curated by Lawrence Rinder, as well as in the 2013-2014 Museum of Art and Design’s exhibition Out of Hand: Materializing the Post Digital, curated by Ron Labaco.

Earlier in his career Rees was included in the 1995 Whitney Biennial and also won a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for the exhibition Artificial Sculpture; software and installation with Chris Burnett.  He won a Creative Capital Grant for his language-to-form synthesizing software Sculptural User Interface (also with Chris Burnett and Donald Guarnieri), as well as a Rockefeller Renew Media Grant.

Rees’ work has been included in many survey books on art and new media including Arts and Electronic Media by Edward Shanken, Digital Art by Christiana Paul and From Technological Art to Virtual Art by Frank Popper, among others.

Rees holds a Masters of Fine Art from Yale University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute, and became a tenured associate professor of art after joining the faculty of William Paterson University in 2008. In 2009 he became the director of the newly reminted Center for New Art.