Denis Masi

Currently based
Spitalfields, UK

Masi studied at Seton Hall University, N.J. USA, Brera Academy of Fine Art, Milan, Italy, PG Studies at Slade School of Fine Art and Chelsea School of Art, London, UK.

Denis Masi is an experimental artist who has worked, for 40 plus years, across a broad range of different media including: assemblage, sculpture, installation, film, video, performance, photography, print, drawing and painting. His primary interests are concerned with exploring the nature of power and especially power structures in society – that deeply embedded human desire to have and exert power or control in whatever measure. In his work he has focused on the many forms of power but especially psychological, territorial, media and social power

As Marco Livingstone wrote in his introduction for the catalogue of Masi’s extensive 1996 survey exhibition at Culturgest in Lisbon:
‘Since the 1970s Denis Masi has devoted his art to an investigation of the many ways in which power, particularly institutionalised authority, manifests itself as a dehumanising, negative force that controls our lives and circumscribes our imagined freedoms. It is this preoccupation, rather than any purely aesthetic aim, that gives coherence to an artistic production that has encompassed a wide range from large-scale sculptural installations to charcoal drawings, etchings, metal reliefs and framed computer-generated photographs. Masi's own perspective on his development divides his art into four phases, beginning with a psychological investigation of the exercise of power on a subliminal level, moving on to a commemorative art involved with rites and rituals, then on to the manifestation of dominance in territorial terms and most recently to an analysis of the ways in which our thoughts are influenced by the processing and presentation of information by the media.’
From 2000 Masi has been exhibiting large-scale photographic works, as he has been particularly interested in social power as experienced at special public events and festivals, those occasions when people gather together to share an experience, a kind of glue or social capital, and how this encounter can be manifest through the photographic portrait.
He was the first artist in residence at the Imperial War Museum (1984); Sargant Fellow at The British School at Rome (2003); and has held residences in Morocco, Bulgaria and Iceland. His work is held in major private and public collections nationally and internationally and he has completed public and corporate commissions as well as designs for the theatre. He has been an academic from 1968 until 2009.

He lives and works in Spitalfields, London.

Exhibitions & Events