Michael Dennis Price
War or Peace?
International Art Exhibition
After graduating from the Central School of Art in London in the mid-seventies, I moved to Holland and then Munich, Germany where I first started to exhibit figurative works. I made notes from many Renaissance works travelling to collections including Vienna, Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome. In Munich, I was introduced to natural mineral pigments at the world famous Doerner-Institute for the restoration of artworks.
After 22 years in Munich, I moved to New York at the end of 1999 where I have since lived and exhibited. In 2016, I eventually published my two volume book, Renaissance Mysteries, Volume I, Natural Colour and Volume II, Proportion and Composition based on my research over many years. I have also given many lectures on my work with natural colour at art academies from China, the U.S. and Germany.
In the mid-seventies, I was introduced to the work of the psychologist C.G. Jung. The relationship of the human condition as portrayed in myths and comparative religions both east and west became the foundation for my fascination with human ideals as well as depravity. I started to channel these ideas into series of works that highlighted different aspects of the human condition. My inspiration came from different sources which included Greek sculpture and myths resulting in my series "A Part of Eternity" to a later series "Evolution of a Myth". Other series have been inspired by philosophers from Paul Tillich to Ouspenski.
My works are all figurative using natural mineral pigments from rocks and stones - colours used since the beginning of time until they were eventually replaced by modern synthetic pigments from the mid-nineteenth century with the advent of the industrial revolution. I regard my preparation of the minerals, rocks and crystals which include azurite and lapis lazuli (blues), cinnabar (red), malachite (green), just to name a few, as a meditative process and reminder of the beauty of nature.
Some of my works include a relief element which has been cast from one of my models and then integrated into the image. This increases the tension between the two-dimensional figures, sometimes fantasy figures juxtaposed with the imposing nature of a figure breaking out of the picture-plane. My oeuvre has incorporated my pigment and binding medium research over 30 years to produce works with a chromatic intensity not possible with modern tube paint. Binding mediums range from casein and hide-glue tempera on paper to a range of fir-balsam resins and oils according to the chemistry of the pigment.
In conclusion all these aspects of my working process highlight the possibilities of humanity, both ugly and wonderful.