"By locating his practice at a hinge between sculpture and document, Ahskin creates the conditions in which traces and objects can serve as the grounds for various stagings of subjectivity in the face of the constant pressures of de-subjectivization." -Anthony Graves

(b. 1955 in USA)


Michael Ashkin's work spans various media, including sculpture, installation, photography, video, poetry, and text. His work addresses issues of landscape and urbanism, specifically the intersection of subjectivity with the social, economic, and political production of space.


"In Michael Ashkin's models, the model becomes an instrument of reflection on what is. The spaces he puts into our hands for us to explore are (...) spaces that, even at the degree of highest abstraction, tell us of the discontent they effect." -Elke Krasny

Ashkin's work has been exhibited at Documenta 11 (2002), the Whitney Biennial (1997), the Vienna Secession (2009), among others in the U.S. and abroad. He has recently published three photobooks, were it not for (2019), Horizont (2018), and Long Branch (2014). 

Ashkin received a B.A. in Oriental studies from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in Mideast languages and cultures from Columbia University, and holds an M.F.A. in painting and drawing from the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to teaching at Cornell University he was a faculty member at SUNY Albany, Pratt Institute, SUNY Purchase, Tyler School of Art, and the International Center of Photography.