Michael David American, b. 1957


David may be the most innovative master of immediate surface since the Abstract Expressionists. He has acknowledged his debt to Abstract Expressionism, but he has transformed it. Where the Abstract Expressionist paintings of the forties and fifties seem like modern cave paintings, as their crude, unfocused, often meandering, turbulent painterliness suggests, and as such to resonate prehistory, David seems to turn the cave into a temple. . .  


- Donald Kuspit

Abstract painter Michael David is best known for his use of encaustic, a technique that incorporates heated beeswax and pigment. Considered an inheritor of Abstract Expressionism, David’s abstract work primarily centers on the use of a densely layered surface to facilitate a direct and immediate spiritual experience. He often incorporates religious iconography and symbolism, art historical themes such as the nude, and contemporary politics into his paintings resulting in a critical dialogue between the layered abstraction of the surface and the integrated representational imagery. Alongside his work on canvas, David has developed a body of studio photography that recreates paintings by Caravaggio, Manet, and Mantegna, among others, in works that confront racism, homophobia, and sexism. David also works in mixed media and environmental sculpture, still within the horizon of his abiding concerns for sociopolitical questioning through art-making.

Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, Yaddo and Edward Albee Fellow, Michael David has been exhibiting internationally since 1981, first with the historical Sidney Janis Gallery, and then with M. Knoedler & Co., as well as Kasim Gallery in London, and has been represented by Bill Lowe Gallery in Atlanta for two decades. His work has been shown widely throughout the United States for over 40 years. He has been the subject of much historical and curatorial acclaim, and his exhibitions have been reviewed in Art Forum and Art in America, among many other publications.

His work is included in many prominent private collections and the permanent public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Brooklyn Museum, The Jewish Museum in New York, The Houston Museum of Contemporary Art, the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Margulies Collection in Miami and the Edward Albee Foundation in Montauk New York, and has been the subject of a one-person exhibition at Aspen Museum of Art.


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