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Almine Rech

Michael Kagan

Michael Kagan is a Brooklyn-based artist known for producing oil paintings with large, expressive brush strokes. Kagan explores the physical and emotional journey that accompanies explorers from mountaineers to astronauts. His dramatic paintings depict humans pushing the limits of nature through physical stamina and technology. Michael uses thick, deliberate brush strokes that convey a decisive hand and the power of his subject matter. Kagan believes a painting is perfect “when it can fall apart or it can come back together depending on how you read the image and also how close you are.”

Born in 1980 in Virginia Beach, Michael Kagan received his BA from The George Washington University and MFA from New York Academy of Art, where he also completed a postgraduate fellowship in 2005. Special projects include a commission from The Smithsonian, two apparel collaborations with Pharrell Williams, and album cover artwork for The White Lies album Big TV, which won an Art Vinyl award for Best Art Vinyl in 2013. He recently had a solo exhibition at Virginia MOCA, Virginia Beach, VA, USA (2019/2020).

Kagan’s work is in the collections of the Hall Collection, Reading, VT, USA; Maezawa Collection, Chiba, Japan; Maki Collection, Tokyo, Japan; Gemini Trust Company, New York, NY, USA; Fidelity Investments Corporate Contemporary Art Collection, Boston, MA, USA; Founders Fund, San Francisco, CA, USA; and Jacob & Co., New York, NY, USA among others. He has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. A recent monograph of his work was released in 2019 by ARTBOOK | DAP.

Museum exhibitions

Selected press