Michael Dwyer earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1985 from Syracuse University and his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1993 from the University of South Carolina. At both schools he studied Studio Arts, with a concentration in painting.
Dwyer has lived in Syracuse, NY; Providence, RI; and since 1990, Columbia, SC, where he works as Exhibition Designer and Preparator at the Columbia Museum of Art.
His work has been exhibited in Syracuse, Providence, and various cities in South Carolina. Most recently, Dwyer's work was included in the 2017 Artfields juried exhibition in Lake City, South Carolina.
"Michael Dwyer does beautifully refined paintings that guide the viewer into an experiential exploration of color and texture. The overall composition is highly controlled with many details being spontaneous surprises."
- Philip Mullen
Both of my parents were artists and my father was a serious painter all of his adult life. Many of their friends and colleagues at Syracuse University were artists, architects, or writers and our home was always a place with big, modern paintings on the walls and jazz on the stereo.
As a kid I loved visiting my dad's studio. I liked the spattered dishevelment, the smell of paint, and the paintings that I couldn't fully understand, but instinctively grasped, as the works came to life. I knew at an early age that making art was something I wanted to pursue.
A sense of movement has been an important element in my work for many years. Earlier pieces often conveyed a feeling of forms drifting in space. Then there was a shift toward using linear compositions to create direction. I wanted your eye to move along a variety of courses or circuits and have experiences along the way. I also found from my earlier collage work that I liked shapes in my paintings to have crisp, assertive edges, like those that came from using scissors.
Currently, I’m using a lot of masking tape and more often than not, painting with a palette knife instead of a brush. Ultimately, I’m always chasing that transcendent moment where color, shape, and movement come together in a way that‘s thrilling and right.