Michael D Price

Michael D Price in his studio

Michael D. Price was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England in 1951. He studied at the London Central School of Art and Design (now Central St. Martins) and graduated in 1974. His studies of European art took him to Holland from 1976 to 1977 and Munich, Germany where he settled from 1977 to 1999. Between 1991 and 1992 he made regular working visits to the Provence in southern France and between 1994 and 1995, he spent six months in Austin, Texas. In 1999, he moved to New York and became a citizen in 2010.

At the end of the 1980’s, through an invitation from the Doerner-Institute in Munich, the world renowned conservation institute, the artist became acquainted with a geometrical puzzle relating to compass holes and compositional marks revealed in the infrared examination of a Tintoretto painting. This, however, led to the artist’s epiphany with natural colour – the luminous natural mineral pigments of the Renaissance palette. He was able to buy some of the historical pigments from a shop, Kremer Pigmente, opposite the museum. However, working with the pigments bound in oils did not produce anything near to the colours of Hans Memlinc or Raphael! Years of research followed.

In 1997, the artist experienced a major breakthrough with preparation of the blue mineral pigment azurite. In 2000, the preparation protocol was published in the journal “Leonardo” (MIT press).  Eventually, after years of further research, he published a comprehensive two volume book in 2017 financed by Kremer Pigments titled “Renaissance Mysteries, Vol. I, Natural Colour and Vol. II, Proportion and Composition“. The artist has exhibited works in Europe and the U.S. over many years and continues to discover the endless possibilities of natural colour on a daily basis in his Manhattan studio.

Resurrection Adventures No. 2, Jacob’s Dream 2017. Gold leaf, natural and mineral pigments in casein distemper, Strasbourg turpentine and oil on linen on panel. 162.8 x 128 cm / 64.1 x 50.4 ins.
Evolution of A Myth No. 9, Carousel: Time to Change the Gods 2016. Gold leaf, natural and mineral pigments in casein distemper, Strasbourg turpentine and oil on linen on panel. 139.8 x 152.5 cm / 55 x 60 ins.
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  1. […] Michael D Price is an artist living and working in New York City. At present he is working on paintings for his series Resurrection Adventures. The paintings are titled Black Elk’s Tears and King Midas Regrets the Golden Touch. Both are highly politically and emotionally charged and represent the third and fourth paintings in the series. The idea for the series came to Price while he was in intensive care and has developed from concept to fully fledged series. Although the series isn’t planned from beginning to end, Price has already mapped out in his mind the next three pieces based on Dante’s Inferno. Some of Price’s previous work has an element of relief, figures appear to emerge from the canvas. This technique began when he lived in Munich and was based on a Greek sculpture collection. He created casts of his model at the time and used rice paper to create layers that he attached to the panel. From there Price created what he refers to as a “chromatic relief.” Price has not created paintings using this method since being in New York. Much of Price’s work has a narrative quality, something he eschewed in his early days. Price’s artistic life was essentially launched when he won a national art contest in England and was able to attend Central School in London to study art in the early 1970s. After graduation he held day jobs. He relocated to Holland where Flemish paintings took hold. He set abstract painting aside and continued his travels and education. Eventually he found himself in Munich which is where he says his artistic career truly began. Throughout these years, Price taught ESL and slowly built a group of collectors who have followed him through the years. Price became fascinated with the use of natural pigments such as Lapis Lazuli and he set out to paint with these natural colors. This opened an entirely new path for the artist. In 2017 he published a two volume book titled Renaissance Mysteries about the use of natural color. For a long time Price had no access nor a clear understanding of natural pigments. While living in Munich he became connected to Kremer Pigments, an art store specializing in exactly these sort of colors. Kremer Pigments went on to finance the publication of Price’s book. To hear more about the use of natural and mineral pigments and Michael Price’s work, listen to the full interview. […]