About the Artwork

Michail Pirgelis works exclusively with authentic aviation materials, which he selects from aircraft scrapyards in the American desert. UNIVRS is a cross-section of an airplane – specifically the passenger area of an Airbus 300. The width of the work reflects the exact measurements of one seating row in a plane, this is evident once the two window openings on both sides come into view. By separating the material from its original context, and reducing it to minimal form, the sculpture becomes abstract and develops a new, unique aesthetic. The exposed skeletal structure evokes architecture as well as the space surrounding it.

Year: 2012 / 2018

© Michail Pirgelis Courtesy Sprüth Magers Photo: © Nick Turpin


Aluminium, titanium, lacquer


301 x 569.5 x 62 cm

Artist Biography

Michail Pirgelis

Michail Pirgelis lives and works in Cologne. He studied under Rosemarie Trockel at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 2004–2009. In 2013 he participated in Deste Prize, Athens and 5x5 Castelló, Castelló (Spain), and received the Berlin grant from Akademie der Künste. In 2010 he received the Audi Art Award for ‘New Positions’ at Art Cologne, and was an artist in residence at Schloss Ringenberg. Pirgelis was the first ever recipient of the Adolf Loos Prize from the Van den Valentyn Foundation, Cologne in 2018, and in 2007 he was awarded the Villa Romana Prize in Florence. Pirgelis’ work was shown most recently in the joint exhibition To Lose together with David Ostrowski at the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren (2016), as well as at Autocenter Berlin (2015) and at the Artothek in Cologne (2011). Group shows include Kunstverein Reutlingen (2018), Marta Herford (2018) the White Columns Foundation (2017), the Rubell Familly Collection, Miami (2015), Bundeskunsthalle Bonn (2014), Istanbul Modern (2013), Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2012), Thessaloniki Biennale (2011), Kunstmuseum Bonn (2010), Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf (2005).