March 29, 1943 - October 13, 2021
We regret to share that longtime gallery artist Michihiro Kosuge passed away October 13, 2021. Michi had been a fixture in Portland’s art community for decades, and a long time represented artist of The Laura Russo Gallery, now Russo Lee Gallery.
Michi, as he was known, was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan in 1943. He came to the United States in 1967, to study fine art at the San Francisco Art Institute in California, graduating with an MFA. In the mid 1970s, he made a move to Oregon, and started a position teaching art at Portland State University in 1978, where he remained until his retirement. He was much respected as a teacher and during various terms as the Chairman of the Art Department.
Michi was known regionally for distinctive sculptures made primarily of stone. He had an active studio practice, and was also commissioned for multiple large scale sculpture installations over four decades.
The interaction of humans with nature and a profound respect for the natural world were enduring concerns in Michi’s work. His interest in combining the natural qualities of stone with hand-made manipulation allowed his sculptures to maintain an organic presence as they reflect and integrate with the places they inhabit, while at the same time creating opportunities for human connections.
For anyone who knew Michi, they recognized a passionate soul who was intently thoughtful and considerate of those around him. Like his sculptures that created welcoming places of peace and reflection, Michi possessed a deep kindness and willingness to listen and collaborate with a diversity of voices. Besides being a gallery artist, he was also the life partner of the Gallery’s founder Laura Russo, and a steady and supportive friend to the gallery throughout the past 35 years. We will miss him.