Progressive Touch: Series 1, commissioned by Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria
Portnoy (born 1936) Improvises, Hauser & Wirth, NY; FIAC, Paris, Block Universe, London



Touching on Everything, commissioned by Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria
WRIXLING.COM, online project, commissioned by CAC Vilnius with CORPUS



Character Assassination, Akademie der Künste der Welte, Cologne, Germany

Progressive Touch - Total Body Language Reprogramming, KW Berlin, Germany



Relational Stalinism - The Musical, Witte de With, Rotterdam



100 Big Entrances, Donaufestival, Austria



100 Beautiful Jokes, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam



THRILLOCHROMES, Wilfred Lentz Rotterdam

27 Gnosis, Playground Festival, STUK, Leuven, Belgium

27 Gnosis, The Kitchen, NY



I'm back fore ground!, IBID PROJECTS, London

Alligators! Experimental Comedy Club, Beursschouwburg, Brussels, Belgium



Script Opposition in Late Model Carrot Jokes, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp & Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam



Alligators!, de Appel, Amsterdam, curated and directed by Michael Portnoy and Ieva Miseviciute



Human Intwist Group, Kunstverein, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

On se bat toujours quelque part, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France



The Dudion Levers, Martos Gallery, New York, USA (with Oliver Sudden)

Lend a Polt in the Put, IBID PROJECTS, London

Casino Ilinx, Sculpture Center, New York, USA



Wandbiss, Art Unlimited 38 Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Presented by The Swiss Institute, New York

Seminar in Subliminal Carnage – The 33 Holdmusic Variations, Performa 07, The Swiss Institute, New York, USA

Talus, Dexter Sinister, New York, USA

The Gutsongs of Xar, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden

Piano Destruction Party, 159 Rivington, New York, USA



Necktie over the Atlantic (performance with Theodore Fivel), Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland

The K Sound, The Kitchen, New York, USA



Strangergames, Kaaitheater, Brussels, Belgium



Shucking the What, The Kitchen, New York, USA

Billy Joel Nose, chashama, New York, USA



Strangergames, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre, New York, USA 1998

Soy Bomb, Radio City Music Hall, New York, USA





A Choreographed Exhibition, CA2M, Madrid, Spain.



Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK



Nouveau Festival, Centre Pompidou



Nothing Twice/Nic 2 Razy, Cricoteka, Krakow, Poland

Father Can't You See I'm Burning, de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam

Before Normal: Concept after Concept , Museum for Contemporary Art Roskilde, Denmark

The Crime Was Almost Perfect, Witte de With Contemporary Art, Rotterdam



Nuit Blanche, Paris, France

Jew York, Zach Feuer Gallery, NY

Un Escalier d'Eau, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

The Bet, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany



dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany

11th Baltic Triennial, co-curator, Vilnius, Lithuania

Radical Languages, Cricoteca, Krakow, Poland



Clifford Irving Show, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp, Belgium

Taipei Biennial 2010, Taipei, Taiwan

The Prompt & Living Pictures, Transart Festival for Performa, Bolzano, Italy

Une Forme Pour Toute Action, Le Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse, France

Répétition Island , Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Macedonian Museum for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece



This place you see has no size at all..., Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France

The Prompt, Kunstverein, New York, USA. Co-curator. Performa 09 Biennial

Made in the USA at Pete’s Motors, Pete’s Motors Showrooms, Great Barrington, USA

STRIP/STRIPE, Emily Harvey Foundation, New York

Remap2, Athens, Greece

Paper Exhibition, Artists Space, New York, USA

Dr. Portnoy (screening), Sundance Film Festival, Park City, USA



One of These Things is Not Like the OtherThings, 1/9 Unosunove, Rome, Italy

Word Event, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland



A Choreographed Exhibition, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Chemical City, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, USA

Speak Easy: Reading on the Rocks, SculptureCentre, New York, USA

5 on 5 is 5, Central House of Artists, 2nd Moscow Biennale, Russia.



The Invasionistas, Kling & Bang Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland

Deitch Gallery Art Parade 2006, New York, USA

An Evening of Experimental Jokes (and other joke swills), Andrew Kreps Gallery, NY, USA

Male Entertainment, Monkeytown, New York, USA

Everything Beautiful and Noble Is the Result of Reason and Calculation, EFA Gallery, NY



Concrete Castle, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France

Deitch Gallery Art Parade 2005, New York, USA

threeASFOUR Fashion Show, threeASFOUR, New York, USA

Still Ill, Momenta Art, New York, USA

Jump On Me, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany.



Collision, Ace Gallery, New York, USA

Shucking the What (prelude), Canada Gallery, New York, USA

Domestic Porn, Galeria Fundacji Foksal, Warsaw, Poland



Secrets, Little Theatre at Tonic, New York, USA

Professor Kiffy on Kitchen Jokes, Little Theatre at Tonic, New York, USA



The Yoghurt Boys, Bowery Pottery Club, New York, USA

As Four Opera, Cooper Union Great Hall, New York, USA



Arse about Face, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA



The Yoghurt Boys, Dumbo Arts Festival, New York, USA

Tie-Off Fear Sleeves, Chashama, New York, USA



Bucket, (the working title), in collaboration with Claude Wampler. Triple X Festival, Amsterdam;

Kaiitheater, Brussels; Victoria Festival, Ghent; P.S. 122, New York.

Bunnipatchers, White Box, New York, USA



Bucket, (the working title), collaboration with Claude Wampler. National Festival of Live Art; Glasgow, Scotland. Downtown Arts Festival, New York, USA

24 Hours on the Staten Island Ferry, Staten Island Ferry, USA

Eviannese Gesamtcuntsjerk, Audio Room, Vienna, Austria

SONTAG, Movement Research, Judson Church, New York, USA



How’m I Doin’? HERE Gallery, New York, USA

Moronmachine, P.S. 122, New York, USA

Lepsies, St. Marks Church, Downtown Arts Festival, New York, USA





1993 BA English Literature/Creative Writing, Vassar College, New York





EMPAC, Troy, NY – residency, 2014

Confuse the Cat (residency leader), The Banff Centre Canada, 2014

Visiting Lecturer in Visual Arts MFA Program, Malmö Art Academy, Malmö, Sweden, 2013-ongoing

Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, MFA workshop leader, 2013

Experimental Comedy Training Camp (residency leader), The Banff Centre, Canada, 2012

Goldsmiths, Art Writing MFA, London, workshop instructor, 2012

Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem, Netherlands, workshop instructor, 2010

Bard College, NY, USA, MFA Faculty, 2009

Yaddo, NY, USA – residency, 2005


Visiting artist at Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Chicago, HEAD (Geneva), Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam), School of Visual Arts, and New York University.


Michael Portnoy (b. 1971, Washington, DC, USA) is a New York-based artist. Coming from a background in dance and stand-up comedy, his performance-based work employs a variety of media: from participatory installations to sculpture, painting, writing, theater, video and curation. Portnoy is largely concerned with manipulating language and behavior as a tool for world-bending – either in his "Relational Stalinist" game structures in which confusion, complication, and ambiguity are used to stretch participants' speech and movement; or his quest to "improve" existing breeds of art through re-engineering. He has presented internationally in museums, art galleries, theatres and music halls, including recently Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria (2019 & 2018); Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2016); the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2015); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2014); Cricoteka, Krakow, Poland (2014); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2013); The Kitchen, New York, USA (2013); dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); 11th Baltic Triennial (co-curator), Vilnius, Lithuania (2012); and the Taipei Biennial, Taipei, Taiwan (2010).