b. 1968 Charlottesville, VA
The paintings, drawings and prints of Michael Rich reflect an approach to nature and landscape as a wellspring for spiritual investigation and meditation through the contemporary language of gestural abstraction. A lifelong summer resident of Nantucket Island, time spent around the ocean and a landscape of great beauty has helped to shape a love and interest in the natural rhythms of color that remain very much a focal point in his work today. With an awareness of the opposing elements of nature’s serenity and tenacity, Rich investigates the harmony and irascibility of the natural world through opacity and translucency of color. Light, space and weather become marks and shapes of color in poetic spaces of memory while close observations of the delicate forms in the landscape become drawn or incised marks meant to be both descriptive and expressive. Whether in large-scale paintings or smaller drawings and etchings, Michael Rich aims to discover meaning in a landscape of intimacy through a language that is visceral, physical and colorful.
The critic Donald Kuspit once wrote:
“For Rich sensitivity to paint is inseparable from sensitivity to landscape, and the fluid density of landscape is best conveyed by the fluid density of paint”.
Recent featured museum exhibitions include The Bristol Art Museum, The Newport Art Museum and the Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville Arkansas. Rich is the recipient of the Basil H. Alkazzi Award (USA) and was included in Sotheby’s auction series, International Young Art. His work is featured in private and public collections nationally including, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA and the Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH.
Michael Rich lives and works in Providence, RI and Nantucket MA and is a Professor and Chair of Visual Arts at Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island.