In Michael Cutlip’s inaugural exhibition at Sopa, there's a shifting combination between abstraction, formalism & representation where an unrestrained, personal subculture seems to originate. Employing a variety of media and techniques, acrylics, spray paint, found objects, appropriated images, etching, etc. Cutlip creates intricate collage works that reveal a subtle comic humor; but it appears more incidental than contrived. While Cutlip's unique vision may show us exotic messages and symbols, they are often overshadowed by gestural markings, random configurations and brilliant color. The boundary between abstraction and representation becomes blurred as he borrows ideas from a number of genres; clearly having fun in the process. While most abstract art is nonobjective right from the get-go, Cutlip seems to float between quite comfortably, offering a more narrative sense to the work at times. His improbable use of color works well with the unexpected imagery and multi layered horizon lines which appear to be celebrated with frequent drips that draw the eye from one layer to the next.
With a resurgence in collecting abstract art these days, artists are finding support to develop new ways to communicate ideas within the blanket of abstraction; breaking free of old labels or categories. Born from this freedom are artists like Michael Cutlip, who allows each painting to unfold in the process… searching for fresh moments and new discoveries. Michael speaks about his work reflecting randomness within a sense of order but always lets the work follow a true path. “The painting must be free to wander, the best works are those that seem to simply happen” says Cutlip.
It is no wonder that he has been included in gallery stables in New York and Chicago and was part of the New California Artist Series of Exhibitions at the Triton Museum. Cutlip studied at Foothill College in Los Altos and also attended California State University in Hayward. Cutlip has exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and widely throughout the West Coast. His work is included in the collection of the Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California and has also been included in New American Paintings. This will be Cutlip’s first solo exhibition in Canada.