Michael van Ofen, ‘Eeh-tow-wées-ka-zeet, He Who Has Eyes Behind Him Also Known As Broken Arm. A Plains Cree warrior after George Catlin, 1832’, 2014, Sies + Höke

About Michael van Ofen

Michael van Ofen paints representational images that are tightly cropped or simplified to the point of abstraction, just beyond immediate recognition. He calls these “results of a figurative line of development reaching far out into the abstract.” Van Ofen changed his primary medium from photography to painting after art school; he is known for his sketchy style, limited palettes, and large fields of color rendered in thick brushstrokes. Van Ofen works without making preparatory drawings, using a wet-on-wet technique of oil paint application. Though his works draw from the tradition of 19th-century genre painting and academic conventions of portraiture and landscape, van Ofen lists contemporary artistic influences: Blinky Palermo, Michael Asher, Bruce Nauman, and Marcel Broodthaers.

German, b. 1956, Essen, Germany