Michael Dolen

Michael Dolen’s Exhibitat Paul Fisher Gallery Facebook Event Pag

Michael Dolen’s Exhibitat Paul Fisher Gallery Artsy Event Page


“As a painter I’ve always been drawn to high-intensity surfaces, full-tilt coloration and structures that accommodate the intersection of abstract and geometric forms. Even in my marginally representational works I’ve wanted to avoid any semblance of illustration or topicality, preferring tension and suggestiveness to resolution or statement. Where I am drawn to biomorphic shapes I want them to seem compelling in themselves and also as dynamic elements in a design that is never entirely comfortable with its own devices. As I look at the recent works I’ve painted I see that there is nothing settled or easy-going about them. Though I am willing to sign on to the idea that in art everything is now permitted and that artists are free to go wherever their imaginations may take them, I believe that my own works are responsive to formal and conceptual constraints, and that no viewer will fail to sense the importance of those constraints, even where they elude explicit definition.

Of course I am often tempted to apply labels to my own works as a way of explaining to myself where they belong.       Are there signs of what one critic called “an essentially baroque sensibility”? No doubt there are such signs, as in the presence of baroque swirls, deep, sometimes sumptuous coloring, curving figures, improbable conjunctions. And yet I am reluctant to settle for any such sense of the work, or for an approach that would emphasize traces of Color Field painting or of any other modernist tradition that might suggest an orthodoxy or a program for doing more or less the same sort of thing over and over again.

Are there characteristic preoccupations in my recent work? I think there are, and those preoccupations have rarely to do with narrative or theme. Better, I think, to regard the works as serious exercises in the handling of illusionistic and abstract space, in which the goal, above all, is the creation of an emotional weather. Can that weather include the sense that we have not yet entirely overcome our lust for the beautiful? I think it can. My hope is that viewers of the work will discover that lust, that persisting predilection in their encounter with these paintings, even where the compositions seem—as they are—disjunctive, ambiguous and, at their best, enigmatic.”

HAEL DOLEN: The Ladder Series Paintings
Sometimes a ladder is only a ladder: no doubt about that. And yet, in the ladder series of artist Michael Dolen, ladders often suggest a good deal more than practical devices or visual props. They call to mind not just the standard ups and downs, ascents and descents but a wide range of human experiences: loss and gain, ambition and disappointment, risk and ambivalence.
Dolen’s paintings are not narrative works with an obvious story-line or an explicit message. They are, in several senses of the term, constructions, some of the time literally so, as when Dolen affixes ladder-like painted-wood fragments to the surface of what thereby become collage-like assemblages.
But then Dolen always conveys odd effects of irregularity and mixing, structure and deconstruction. So disorienting are his juxtapositions, even within rigorously organized works, that his ladders often suggest nothing less than a device for climbing out of, escaping from the puzzlement we feel as we make our way through the teasing surfaces of his intricately ordered, compact compositions.
Dolen’s paintings are always viscerally engaging. They are some of the time intimate, embedding teasingly anecdotal details, but elsewhere they are largely abstract and theatrical. A circus-like flamboyance alternates with what can be a surprising commitment to an almost classical poise and serenity. Visual quotations are as apt to be drawn from the artist’s sketchbooks as from the tradition of European and American art, high and low, vernacular and formalistic.
In short, Dolen is a modernist painter, regarding each new work as an opportunity to surpass a boundary and to conduct visual experiments without having in view fixed outcomes. A master draughtsman and brilliant colorist, Dolen is also inveterately mischievous and playful. The ladders in his new series provide a recurring motif and a discipline, a suggestive visual symbol and an implicit commentary upon the artist’s will to impose clarity and regularity upon a process that is protean and unpredictable.
Skidmore College
Editor, SALMAGUNDI Magazine

“Michael Dolen is an articulate story teller and poet who creatively speaks to an audience through his narrative and engaging canvases that often are reminiscent of early WPA murals where some of the very best American painters sharpened their artistic skills into communicative compositions. Dolen’s work is packed with surprises accented by multiple layers of figurative outlines, exotic designs, abstract configurations and harmonic color combinations that provide a visual feast for the eyes!”

~ Bruce Helander


6’-0” X 4’-0”      Oil on Canvas
Three linear female figures, and a bird; all over-layering a boardwalk with the sea in the background… The linear forms are structured to appear over two floral wallpaper patterns. This work is my attempt to give the viewer an opportunity to reassess their sense of illusionistic and abstract space, and to hopefully challenge their visual assumptions.



7’-6” X 3’-4”      Oil on Canvas
Four Curving Linear Figures are superimposed over each other, and over floral/hard-edged abstract shapes. I placed the figures in seated and reclining positions that “float” in space. Hopefully, my decision to “float” the figures purposefully eludes explicit definition, and avoids narrative orthodoxy. I wanted the the arrangement of figures to be compelling in themselves, and act as dynamic elements in a design that was, fundamentally enigmatic.

TRAVELS:  6’-0” X 4’-0”    Oil on Canvas
This work was completed after returning to Saratoga Springs, ( my home and Studio 1999-2015). The work is based on the drawings I had done during visits to Mexico, Rhode Island, and the Adirondacks.
I attempted to convey and encapsulate my travels to the viewer, with a sense of varied playful and serene environments. Landscapes, still-lifes,  food and flower arrangements; all interrupting, and flowing into each other,  providing improbable visual interactions and conjunctions.


IN THE GARDEN: THE LINEAR SERIES  6’-0” X 4’-0” Oil on Canvas
This piece is one of over twenty oil on canvas works completed between 2000 and 2006. This SERIES combine both figurative elements, abstract forms and shapes, and “borrows” formal cubist elements. “In the Garden” projects three linear  images; Two female figures and a female face. They are superimposed over the floral and cubist background. My goal was to provide an uninterrupted constant sense of “Visual Layering.

Michael Dolen’s most recent work explores the theme of the circus: a site earmarked as being an imbricated network of activity, often involving rituals,     risk, and sudden climaxes. Reflecting this carnivalesque energy, Dolen’s works use a variety of media; doing so, they capture the essence of the circus        as a cross-section of chaotic forces. Figures are typically revealed only in mask, and only through the lens of a perspective that melds the wilding distortionof funhouse mirrors with the exacting rules of Cubist proportion.

In the mixed-media work Circus Figures 921V, the visual center of the painting depicts two jesters engaged in a seemingly impossible acrobatic maneuver. The detail with which the figures are rendered willfully contrasts with the jazzy abstraction that fills out the left- and right-side of the picture. Because each figure — the main attraction, so to speak — is rendered with such care, the visual noise at the picture’s margins takes on symbolic meaning. The abstract markings come to compose an audience, a throng of anonymous faces bedazzled by the spectacle of the two jesters performing an athletic feat.

Influenced by Modernism and Abstract Expressionism while studying art at The Cooper Union, Dolen has built on those traditions and taken them in a new direction. With over 30 years of experience as a graphic designer, he applies the clarity of that discipline to the sensuous forms and lush colors he employs, creating a unique, engaging body of work. The artist lives and works in New York City.

Did you like this? Share it!

17 comments on “Michael Dolen

Hi, very nice website, cheers!
Need cheap and reliable hosting? Our shared plans start at $10 for an year and VPS plans for $6/Mo.
Check here: https://www.good-webhosting.com/

I enjoy you because of your entire work on this blog. Debby takes pleasure in getting into research and it’s obvious why. All of us notice all concerning the lively tactic you convey useful thoughts on this website and invigorate participation from some other people on this concept and our own girl is without question starting to learn so much. Take pleasure in the rest of the new year. You are carrying out a superb job.

Needed to send you that little observation so as to thank you so much yet again for your extraordinary information you have contributed on this site. It’s quite shockingly open-handed with you to provide publicly all that a number of us could have offered for an electronic book to generate some cash for their own end, chiefly since you might have tried it in the event you decided. Those smart ideas likewise served to become good way to fully grasp other people have the identical dreams the same as my personal own to learn somewhat more on the subject of this condition. I’m sure there are lots of more fun situations up front for individuals that discover your site.

My husband and i ended up being quite cheerful that Edward could deal with his investigation by way of the precious recommendations he had from your blog. It’s not at all simplistic just to choose to be freely giving techniques which often many others could have been selling. Therefore we keep in mind we now have the blog owner to give thanks to because of that. All of the illustrations you made, the simple blog navigation, the relationships your site make it possible to engender – it’s got mostly wonderful, and it’s leading our son in addition to us know that the subject is brilliant, and that’s especially important. Thank you for everything!

I want to express thanks to this writer for rescuing me from this particular issue. Because of scouting throughout the the net and finding methods which were not beneficial, I believed my entire life was over. Existing devoid of the approaches to the problems you have solved by way of your report is a critical case, as well as ones that would have badly affected my career if I hadn’t encountered the website. Your main understanding and kindness in taking care of the whole thing was very helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a stuff like this. I can also at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks very much for your specialized and amazing help. I will not think twice to endorse the blog to anybody who requires recommendations on this subject.

I simply had to say thanks once again. I do not know the things I could possibly have followed in the absence of these tricks documented by you over such problem. It has been a real horrifying condition for me personally, however , looking at your skilled fashion you handled the issue took me to jump over contentment. I am just happy for your service and even have high hopes you really know what an amazing job you are undertaking training men and women thru your web blog. Probably you haven’t encountered all of us.

I simply wanted to send a brief comment to be able to say thanks to you for some of the wonderful tips and hints you are giving out at this site. My time intensive internet search has at the end been recognized with high-quality facts to write about with my colleagues. I ‘d suppose that many of us visitors are truly lucky to live in a wonderful site with many marvellous individuals with insightful concepts. I feel very lucky to have come across the web site and look forward to some more thrilling minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once again for everything.

I precisely had to appreciate you again. I do not know the things I might have used in the absence of the actual creative ideas revealed by you relating to such area. It was a very troublesome difficulty in my opinion, nevertheless witnessing a expert fashion you dealt with it made me to cry over delight. Extremely happier for the information and even hope that you recognize what an amazing job that you are undertaking training the rest using your web site. More than likely you haven’t encountered all of us.

I precisely had to appreciate you once more. I do not know the things that I could possibly have taken care of without those tips and hints documented by you about that area of interest. It absolutely was a real scary scenario in my opinion, but viewing the expert approach you managed the issue made me to weep over joy. I am thankful for the work and expect you realize what a powerful job you happen to be undertaking educating others via your webpage. More than likely you’ve never come across all of us.

Thanks so much for giving everyone an extremely splendid possiblity to discover important secrets from this web site. It is always so amazing and also stuffed with a good time for me and my office fellow workers to visit your site no less than 3 times per week to read through the new guidance you will have. And indeed, I’m just certainly pleased concerning the perfect tricks you give. Some 3 points in this article are unequivocally the most effective we’ve ever had.

Thank you for your entire labor on this website. Ellie enjoys conducting investigation and it is simple to grasp why. Almost all know all concerning the powerful tactic you produce vital guidance on your blog and therefore boost response from other people on that content and our simple princess is always understanding a lot of things. Take advantage of the rest of the year. You are performing a really good job.

I precisely had to thank you so much yet again. I am not sure the things I could possibly have accomplished in the absence of the entire suggestions discussed by you about this industry. It was before a real terrifying concern for me, nevertheless taking a look at this specialized technique you handled the issue forced me to jump with joy. I’m just happier for your help and thus expect you comprehend what a great job you are providing training others using a web site. I am sure you haven’t encountered all of us.

My spouse and i felt really thankful when Raymond could finish up his survey from the ideas he acquired from your blog. It is now and again perplexing to simply find yourself making a gift of techniques which often many others could have been making money from. We do know we now have the blog owner to thank for that. Those explanations you’ve made, the simple website navigation, the relationships you will aid to create – it’s got mostly remarkable, and it’s assisting our son and our family reason why the content is exciting, and that is rather fundamental. Many thanks for the whole thing!

I and my friends happened to be viewing the good tips and hints on your web page and then before long developed a terrible feeling I had not expressed respect to the blog owner for those secrets. My ladies had been for that reason passionate to read them and have now absolutely been having fun with those things. Thanks for simply being very considerate and also for going for such good subject matter millions of individuals are really desperate to know about. My honest regret for not saying thanks to you earlier.

I as well as my pals were found to be taking note of the nice tips and tricks located on your web site and unexpectedly came up with a horrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the web site owner for those tips. My women had been certainly very interested to see all of them and have now quite simply been using them. Many thanks for getting well helpful as well as for obtaining certain good ideas millions of individuals are really desperate to know about. My sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

I must get across my affection for your kindness giving support to those individuals that should have guidance on this particular theme. Your very own commitment to getting the solution throughout became extremely insightful and has frequently made men and women just like me to realize their dreams. Your entire useful guide can mean a whole lot a person like me and especially to my peers. Warm regards; from everyone of us.

I wish to express thanks to this writer for rescuing me from such a setting. As a result of checking throughout the world wide web and finding thoughts which were not beneficial, I assumed my life was done. Existing devoid of the answers to the issues you’ve fixed by means of this write-up is a serious case, as well as ones which could have in a wrong way affected my career if I hadn’t come across your site. Your actual know-how and kindness in dealing with all the stuff was excellent. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a subject like this. I am able to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot very much for the professional and result oriented guide. I won’t think twice to suggest the website to anybody who wants and needs counselling on this area.

Leave Comment

Paul Fisher Gallery