Born in South Africa, Michael Bolus settled in England in 1957 and studied at St Martin's School of Art from 1958 to 1962. After a brief period living in Cape Town he returned to London in 1964 to begin a teaching post at St Martin's and the Central School of Art and Design. Bolus had his first UK solo exhibition at Waddington Galleries in 1968.
As a student his earliest work was modelled or sculpted in stone, but Bolus soon abandoned these traditional techniques in favour of working with steel and aluminium, materials that allowed him to explore the notions of balance and the extension of form which had long interested him. For the New Generation show in 1965 he exhibited a series of polychromatic sculptures taking the form of abstract shapes cut out of sheet aluminium and placed flat on the ground. A slightly earlier example of this group of works is the triangular piece, 9th Sculpture, 1963. However in the 1970s his sculpture left the ground, becoming more fragmented and making use of lattice and grid-like constructions that defy gravity, such as Untitled Sculpture No. 3, 1974 and Untitled, 1981.
Michael Bolus is represented in public collections around the world, including the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia; and Tate, London.