Michael Rosenberg

Michael Rosenberg was born in New York City about the same time as the Abstract Expressionist movement. His mother turned to painting not too long after Michael’s birth; he was exposed to an exciting, thriving and organic art movement that became the foundation that inspires his work today.

He received his B.A. from Boston University where he trained in a traditional figurative and rigid style. To his credit, his mentor and teacher James Weeks supported his rebellious nature and Michael pushed the boundaries, experimenting with more contemporary themes. He was spotted by David Lund, a visiting professor, and that association brought him to Columbia University where he achieved his MA in painting — at a time when painting was declared “dead”.

Upon graduating, Michael worked for 3 years at Sotheby Parke Bernett’s Madison Avenue Galleries. He was immersed in the art world and exposed to the history of fine and decorative arts. He moved on to Hirschl and Adler Galleries, participating in the creation of Hirschl and Adler Modern, which focused on fine contemporary American and European art.

Fleeing the New York art market in 1983, Michael moved to Vashon Island outside of Seattle. In 1990, he opened Michael Rosenberg Photography. A fine art photographic portrait studio in Seattle. His inquiry into creating two dimensional form continued unabated, though he traded his paint brush for a camera. As an award winning photographer, his subjects included families from the Northwest as well as celebrities and politicians, including Barack Obama and Joe Biden. 

In his last few years before closing the photoraphy studio, Michael began to experiment with photography and digital mediums, creating images that sponsored his rentry to the world of painting. With his photography business closed, Michael was able to spend more time in the studio, to explore painting and drawing, focused on the motifs and concepts  historically rooted in abstract expressionism and other movements of 20th century art. 

Michael believes that most significant and lasting artistic trends evolve from the work of those who came before. It is that principal that has always guided his work.

In 2019, Michael followed his desire for a next great adventure, moving to Portugal. A new location, new light, and different cultural values and perspectives influence his thinking and creative expression. Michael is currently living by the sea and working in his Porto studio.

“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about.” – Rumi

May 08 2023

Stalking the Finished Work

Endings The middle stages of a painting are mostly fraught with questions, doubts, and quite often, floundering.  Where is this painting going?  What does it...
May 08 2023

The Influencers in my Studio

My work is highly rooted in and influenced by the Abstract Expressionist movement and the Color Field painters of the 60's and 70's. But I do not limit myself to just...
May 08 2023

Lessons from the Messy Middle

Whenever I start a new painting, I begin with anticipation and hope. I suspect that is true for anyone who creates. Yet as the work progresses, things get a bit more...
Apr 04 2023

The Creative Conversation

When I step into the studio each day, I engage in a multi-faceted conversation.  Before I arrive, there is already a crowd gathered; great artists of the past and...


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