Saturday 3 February to Saturday 16 March 2024
“Homage to Michael Lawrence” : A Journey Through Art and Life
You are cordially invited to the vernissage of our new exhibition on the 3rd of February 2024, scheduled from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
We are incredibly grateful to Michael Lawrence, the first artist who gave us the chance to open Galerie Dumas, our art gallery. He has been a true friend for many years, and this exhibition is a heartfelt tribute to his legacy. The “Homage to Michael Lawrence” exhibition is a celebration of the legendary and maverick artist known for his lyrical drawings and paintings. Michael Lawrence’s work captures the theater of life, weaving memories of a vibrant childhood and dynamic relationships with creative individuals into a symphony of sensations.
In 1980, renowned painter Roy Lichtenstein visited Michael Lawrence and described his work as “energetic, joyful, and colorful”. Michael’s play, “MODIGLIANI IN FLORESCENT”, showcased his artistic depth, earning the appreciation of Lichtenstein and reflecting influences from Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Franc Marc. Michael scandalized in 1981 the public and art critics with his three-dimensional “cookie” paintings. The LA TIMES review established Michael as an innovator, breaking conventions with playful daubs of metalized color on large canvases.
Throughout his journey, Michael received encouraging acknowledgments from figures like Ray Bradbury and Robert Kelly. Bradbury likened Michael’s abstractions to “fourth of July explosions”, while Kelly commended his “genuine sophistication” and commitment to living for his work.
Since 1992, Michael has called Hydra Island home, finding inspiration in the coexistence of contemporary life and antiquity. His childhood fascination with Rome’s history, fountains, and art laid the foundation for his artistic expressions, as seen in his recurrent theme of recreating the joy of fountains. In 1999, Leonard Cohen expressed his admiration for Michael’s work during an exhibition on Hydra, stating that the art “lifts” the viewer. Cohen’s gratitude, expressed in the guest book with a simple “thanks for the lift”, resonates with the emotional impact felt by collectors worldwide.
Michael’s parents, Marc Lawrence and Fanya Foss, were artists in Hollywood, shaping his artistic upbringing. Fanya’s collaboration with RKO and her horror film “PIGS”, featuring Marc and Michael’s sister Toni, further highlights the family’s artistic legacy. Michael’s encounters with personalities like Ray Bradbury and his correspondence over thirty years added depth to his artistic journey. His writings in “TRIPPING WITH JIM MORRISON AND OTHER FRIENDS”, “MY VOYAGE IN ART”, and other publications reveal the meaningful relationships that fueled his creative spirit.
Over the past fifty years, Michael’s work has illuminated gallery shows in Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, Denver, and in Europe: Rome, Madrid, Stockholm, Belfast, Hydra Island, and elsewhere. Diverse collectors, including filmmaker Oliver Stone and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, along with hundreds of others, share in the joy of experiencing Michael Lawrence’s art.
We remember Michael fondly as a dear friend and visionary artist who passed away in Hydra in November 2021. Though he is no longer with us, we hope he would be proud of us and this exhibition, which serves as a tribute to celebrate his 80th birthday in 2023. Join us in exploring the rich tapestry of Michael Lawrence’s life and art at the “Homage to Michael Lawrence” exhibition. Through his unique vision and creativity, Michael has left an indelible mark on the art world, inviting us to embark on a journey of discovery and inspiration.
20 January 2024