Michael Gallagher


“My work is about seeing. Authentic art is a search for truth, more than a rendering of the facts. When successful, it allows a newfound perspective, a resonance, an innocence within our inner child…that part of us that is still able to play…to wonder…to pretend…to fantasize…and to believe in magic – a poetic visual awakening.”

Michael Gallagher is an abstract painter whose painting career began in SoHo, New York. He was a founder of the Abstract Illusionism movement that originated there in the 1970s. The defining elements of this style create the illusion of depth, as pictorial elements appear to be floating both in front of and behind the picture plane of the canvas.” 

As an established American Postwar & Contemporary artist, his work resides in the permanent collections of prestigious national art museums.  Exhibiting in over seventy national and international museum and gallery exhibitions, his work continues intrigue curators, collectors, and scholars. Plentiful references and citations have been published including international books, magazines, scholarly articles and papers, trade publications, journals, newspapers, and online websites.

Today he is exploring diverse possibilities employing both traditional and non-traditional tools and digital technologies – paint, pigment, collage, airbrush, creative software, and photography in concert with high-tech large format digital cameras and printers to create dynamic works of art.

Michael Gallagher was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1945. He received a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University School of Art & Architecture, New Haven, CT, in 1970. Upon graduation, he was awarded Yale University’s Eli Harwood Schless Memorial Award for Drawing & Painting. While there he studied with Jack Tworkov, Lester Johnson, Al Held, Dick Lytle, William Bailey and Josef Albers, among others.

He also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1968 from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California.

His undergraduate studies included a fellowship to Yale University’s Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk, Connecticut. While there he studied with George Wardlaw, Knox Martin, Robert Mangold, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler and Walker Evans. He also took classes at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with David Hockney, Alfred Leslie, Irving Petlin and Tony Berlant.

Mr. Gallagher lives and works in Orange County, California.