Michael Brophy’s exploration of the Oregon landscape continues to evolve with this exhibition titled Silence. In a series of large scale oil paintings, Brophy presents the vast, arid open spaces of southeast Oregon’s Alvord Desert. The paintings are permeated by silence and solitude, embracing the endless depth of the sky and the subtle variations of the playa, the dry lakebed that defines the desert. Ranging from the darkest night scenes with a shock of firelight, to views of dawn or dusk with lengthening shadows or glimpses of the moon, these paintings continue Brophy’s movement toward the subtle power of pared down landscapes. Lush, increasingly abstract color fields are the compelling result. Brophy’s physical and conceptual understanding of painting gives his canvases allusive power and mythic impact. Not an illusionist, he applies paint in a direct and economical way using composition and the formal elements of balance and proportion to animate his ideas. 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. Most recently he was included in the Tacoma Art Museum’s 9th Northwest Biennial. In 2005, he was honored with an exhibition, “The Romantic Vision of Michael Brophy,” by the Tacoma Art Museum and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. 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. Currently he is working on a commission for Mount Rainier High School, through the Washington State Arts Commission.