Michael Brophy’s exploration of the landscape touches on a broad range of subject matter in this exhibit, titled Outside. Large and medium size canvases present images like docks, driftwood, industrial containers and tunnels, exploring a broad range of ideas that relate to Brophy’s longstanding interest in a sense of place, and the fascinating intersection of human and natural history. Regarding the current direction of his painting, Brophy says “(w)hereas before I was drawing the space in my paintings, now I’m working the image, wet on wet, out of large fields of paint. I’ve come to work in a more abstract and minimalist way. The horizon has gained more importance, the images more singularity; the paint is more open and direct.” His physical and conceptual understanding of painting gives his canvases allusive power and mythic impact. The result is dramatic, probing and refined.
Northwest artist Michael Brophy graduated in 1985 from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where he has also taught. He has shown extensively in the Northwest in both solo and group exhibitions. Currently, his work is part of Critical Messages: Contemporary NW Artists on the Environment, an exhibition that originated at Western Washington University, and will travel to the Hallie Ford Museum and the Boise Art Museum. He is a recipient of multiple honors including a NEA Westaf Grant, a Pollock Krasner Grant, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. His work is in collections including Microsoft, the Multnomah County Library Collection, the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, OSU Library in Corvallis, and the City of Portland, OR. Public commissions include Portland’s City Hall and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in Wasco, OR. He recently completed a commission for Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines, WA, through the Washington State Arts Commission.