Michael Brophy’s paintings explore the evolution of the Northwest landscape in both subtle and dramatic ways. Without being sentimental, his sublime landscapes approach the canvas theatrically, referencing historical and environmental elements that question our surroundings and how we got here. Brophy’s physical and conceptual understanding of painting gives his storytelling allusive power and mythic impact. Not an illusionist, he applies paint in a direct and economic way using composition and the formal elements of balance and proportion to animate his ideas. The result is dramatic, probing and refined. Although he paints imagery familiar to this region, his ironic, if not iconic, sensibility becomes a unique reflection of contemporary currents in the continuing saga of the Northwest story.
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. 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.
Portland State University’s Art Department offers free public lectures every Monday night of the school year. This is the eleventh lecture of the fourth year of the PMMNLS. The PSU MFA Monday Night Lecture Series is supported in part by PICA, Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, and The NW Film Center.