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

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