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Michael Cline

American, b. 1973

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Michael Cline

American, b. 1973

Biography

Michael Cline’s paintings of men and women mired in imaginary experiences of urban poverty, sex, and violence seamlessly blend aspects of Surrealism with traditional realism. His work has a satirical element, critiquing aspects of urban life but also creating a space for folk narrative and urban myth. His cities are not real places and his style is not documentary; rather, the city is a dream-like landscape in which Cline integrates seemingly unrelated details, figures, and inscrutable objects. For example in Reverse Engineered (2007), a destitute man points to a bitten sandwich on the ground while a child in strange glasses looks on ambivalently; around these centrally positioned figures, Cline has placed graffiti, a clothesline, a doll, a hanging light bulb, and a disembodied foot, together hinting at a narrative though leaving it largely ambiguous.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Biography

Michael Cline’s paintings of men and women mired in imaginary experiences of urban poverty, sex, and violence seamlessly blend aspects of Surrealism with traditional realism. His work has a satirical element, critiquing aspects of urban life but also creating a space for folk narrative and urban myth. His cities are not real places and his style is not documentary; rather, the city is a dream-like landscape in which Cline integrates seemingly unrelated details, figures, and inscrutable objects. For example in Reverse Engineered (2007), a destitute man points to a bitten sandwich on the ground while a child in strange glasses looks on ambivalently; around these centrally positioned figures, Cline has placed graffiti, a clothesline, a doll, a hanging light bulb, and a disembodied foot, together hinting at a narrative though leaving it largely ambiguous.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)