Drift, the exhibition title for a series of large and medium scale oil paintings of driftwood and jetties, is Michael Brophy’s latest visual exploration of the land and seascapes of the Pacific Northwest. This new body of work illustrates Brophy’s remarkable ability to translate into paint the nuances of light and shadow on expanses of earth, sea, and sky. These paintings capture both the viewer’s eye and curiosity as they reveal the immense complexity of dense drifts and stacks of logs and stone, which result from the labors of man and nature at the intersection of land and sea. As he explains it, “my work has always been about the place I live, and the interconnectedness of human, natural, and cultural histories. I am not a painter of the sublime, but rather I aim to contend with the landscape as a constructed place and to convey the often strange encounter of natural beauty and human intervention.” This show illustrates the latest iteration of Brophy’s vision.
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. 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. Recently, Brophy’s work was added to the collection of the Coos Art Museum, where it is currently on exhibition. Public commissions include Portland’s City Hall, the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in Wasco, OR, and Mt. Rainier High School in Des Moines, WA.