Michael Hedges’ expressionist paintings are as much about energy as they are about color and texture. The energy, both in his physical approach to applying paint to the support as well as the color harmonies across the compositions, activates the surface and the viewer’s experience. Hedges’ passionately embraces Abstract Expressionism with his own color-based approach to expressionist and gestural abstract painting. According to the artist, his works, “begin as a problem of two or more color relationships to be explored through form”. He then pursues multiple parallel paths to resolve the “problem” on many separate canvases. An example of Hedges’ high energy and process-driven approach to create dynamic surfaces and color combinations.
This presentation includes recent paintings from 2016 and 2017. Roughly half are painted on natural linen in which Hedges’ approach is a little different than on canvas, revealing the linen support and numerous areas where the pigment is applied in thin brushy strokes to expose the weave and texture. There are still robust areas of saturated pigment applied in his usual thick and impasto strokes. The approach creates a unique surface with textural contrasts, while the color relationships and harmonies are as vibrant as ever. Another interesting aspect of this selection of paintings is the artist’s use of collaged elements. Painted patches of canvas and linen are applied to the painting surfaces to add a specific element of interest and spontaneity, maintaining energy at peak level with unexpected shifts in process.
About Michael Hedges:
Hedges was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. While in high school he spent two years studying at the Art Institute of Chicago before going on to receive his B.A. in Studio Art from Loras College in Dubuque, IA in 1998. Since graduating from Loras, Hedges has been exhibiting and selling his artwork in the Chicago area, where he lives and works. In addition to gallery exhibitions, his paintings have been presented at the Art Expo Chicago and Art Miami art fairs. Hedges’ artworks hang in numerous corporate and private collections throughout the Chicago area.