Mike Pugh
24 k gold leaf on ceramic
"Gril Pulling Her Hair"
The language of my work is a synthesis of images from dreams, primitive
cultures and history. The ideas are of a personal, speculative philosophy
that is based on intuition, observation and experience. My sculptures and
paintings often appear bent on the elemental, religious, and macabre. They
avoid any direct references to mythological narrative but are manifestations
of what I call, paradoxically, subjective archetypes.

Much of my work is characterized by its symmetry. This is largely the influence of religious symbols like the mandala, Star of David, and crucifix which I believe to be archetypal in form or at least make reference to this phenomena of the subconscious. I compose my work with a near perfect religious symmetry but always deviate from this impulse to avoid implications of catechism. Instead I "humanize" the figures by depicting them starved, missing heads, limbs, or covered in indecipherable language. This prevents my work from functioning as symbols or decorative objects. The work then becomes a tangible poetry that speaks of one's participation in the enigma of human history as a human, not as a personality or individual.



MFA (ceramics) - Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, 1996
BA (studio art) - Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, 1992
BA (history) - Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, 1992


Graduate Teaching Assistantship, 1994-1996
Nominated for Outstanding Graduate Student, 1996
Best of Show; ANA 25 National Juried Exhibition, Holter Art Museum, Helena,
MT 1996
Individual Artist Fellowship, Montana Arts Council, 1996


Kiln Engineer Constructed gas kilns and fired the work of Oliviero Rainaldi, Rome, Italy
1996 Teaching Assistant Montana State University
Indigenous Ceramics workshop in Whitehall, Montana
1994-1996 Teaching Assistant Montana State University
Full responsibility for preparation, instruction, and grading of Art 111 (3D Fundamentals), and Art 114 (Art Fundamentals for non-majors).
1995 Studio Assistant to Oliviero Rainaldi, prominent Italian sculptor and painter, Rome, Italy
1994 Teaching Assistant Montana State University
Indigenous Ceramics workshop in Whitehall, Montana.
1992 Construction and firing of high-fire "bank kiln" (ancient Chinese design) in Talala, Oklahoma
1992 Fabrication and firing of large ceramic sculpture and bronze casting, University of Wisconsin grant; Professors George Cramer and Mike Weber, project directors Herbster, Wisconsin

1996 "Michael Pugh, Three day figure building workshop", UW Eau Claire, Wisconsin
1995 Demonstration of building techniques and fabrication of large terra cotta sculptures with Oliviero Rainaldi, "Arte Oggetto Ceramic Industry" in Castelli, Italy
Gallery talk and slide presentation for students and faculty of Temple University, Rome, Italy
1994 Demonstration on "Wheel-Thrown and Altered Sculpture" for advanced
ceramics students, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana


1996 ANA 25, National Juried Exhibition, Holter Art Museum. Juror: Janet Koplos
"Elements" Haynes Fine Arts Gallery, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana
1995 "Bozeman Draws," Beall Park Art Center, Bozeman, Montana
1994 Sweet Pea Juried Show, Beall Park Art Center, Bozeman, Montana
1993 "Graduate Invitational," Robert and Gennie DeWeese Gallery,


1998 "Scultore", Centro D'Arte Contemporanea "Luigi Montanarini", Ariccia (Roma), Italy
1997 "Michael Pugh, New Works", K&L Fine Art, Highland Park, IL
1996 "Michael Pugh", Haynes Fine Art Gallery, Bozeman, MT "Michael Pugh", Exit Gallery, Bozeman, Montana
1995 "Opere Recenti", Panna Gallery Arte Contemporanea, Genzano di Roma, Italy "Opere Recenti", Temple Gallery, Rome, Italy
1993 "New Ceramic Sculpture", Exit Gallery, Bozeman, Montana
1992 "Genesis", Wright Art Museum, Beloit, Wisconsin


"Michael Pugh at the Exit," Tributary Magazine, February, 1996, Bozeman, Montana
"Michael Pugh," Artel Fax, September 27, 1995, Rome, Italy
"Opere Recenti, Michael Pugh," La Republica, September 21, 1995, Rome, Italy


Temple University, Rome, Italy
Virgilio Leggiero, Rome, Italy