Michael David

Abstract painter Michael David is best known for his use of Encaustic, which incorporates pigment with heated beeswax.

He discovered Encaustic while studying at Parsons School of Design in New York in 1975; David says of the medium, “I loved the immediacy of the process, the physicality, and how I was able to embed objects and create narrative in abstraction. I felt it was a perfect actualization of myself through painting.”

Considered an inheritor of Abstract Expressionism, David’s abstract work primarily centers on the use of a densely layered surface to facilitate a direct and immediate spiritual experience.

Michael David may be the most innovative master of immediate surface since the Abstract Expressionists. His paintings make the abstract sublime vividly concrete, as though it could be grasped rather than exist as some numinous beyond.

Art Historian Donald Kuspit

Whether these works are masterpieces of sacred painting, as I think -t hey are all aesthetic masterpieces…. What began to be worked on by Kandinsky and seemed overworked in Pollock…. has been given not only a new lease on life by David but extended into new technical as well as emotional territory.

Art Historian Donald Kuspit

Michael David’s abstract paintings renew immediacy, indeed, reconstitute, strengthen, and even apotheosize it. They raise it to a feverishly intensity with their remarkable touch indicating they are among the very best painterly abstractions made. To me they make it transparently clear that immediacy may be an illusion to the intellect, but it is not one for the senses – for touch and sight mingled together inextricably in ecstatic perception. For them, painterly immediacy is the ultimate reality: pure sensuous intensity transcendent of ordinary, habitual understanding of the world, which is mediated by socially sanctioned language and banal meanings that force sense experience into their procrustean bed.

Art Historian Donald Kuspit

Michael David is akin to the works of Keifer and Mark Bradford. His focus on those elements of the human experience that transcend the political, the contemporary but mine (in an archaeological sense) what makes us most human. His ability to access and explore these depths of humanity places him among the great artistic titans of our society.

Michael has become far more resolved in spirit over the years yet will never lose his ambition.

Explanatory text with painting shown in gallery and website:


Requium for a Gangster – 2006
Requium for a Gangster is an outstanding work revolving around the memorial procession of mobsters that are often lead by a sanitation vehicle with a wreath or roses. It echoes the malleable quality of our memory – our minds/spirits – what makes them most vulnerable and most powerful.