Michael Azgour is a contemporary artist interested in the space between perception and reality. His paintings are constructed from multiple layers of paint which alternate between expressive figuration and geometric abstraction.
Azgour’s award-winning paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including solo shows at the Art Museum of Los Gatos, CA and Hohmann Fine Art in Palm Desert, CA, and upcoming solo shows at Brennecke Fine Arts in Berlin and Fresno Art Museum. His work has been represented at many Art Fairs such as SCOPE NYC (solo show), Art Market San Francisco, and Los Angeles Art Show. His work is part of renowned private and public collections around the world, including Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University, and Showtime Television Network in New York. Michael has exhibited alongside a number of highly respected artists and regularly delivers lectures about his work, such as a recent talk at TEDx Krakow. Michael teaches drawing and painting courses at Stanford University.
“Azgour’s works are expressive and geometric abstractions informed by an involved process that combines a strategic, realistic technique with pattern and repetition and the muse of accidental surprise. His figures seemingly float with one foot firmly planted in the present while the other wafts into the past. Paint becomes pixel, blur or distortion mirroring the disconnected snapshots and video clips that populate our social media profiles. He challenges the viewer’s interpretation by combining unrelated imagery in the same composition. Although the disparate visuals and juxtaposed compositions appear random, they are in fact bits of narrative from the artist’s own life and travels.” – K Nichols
Azgour Art Group is an art education and mentorship community. A high quality, comprehensive program designed to help artists of all levels create a productive art-making practice. The one-of-a-kind website was built from the ground up to help artists create consistently strong paintings.
Learn more: Azgour Art Group
Michael Azgour Artist Video (2023)
A quick dive into the life and work of artist, Michael Azgour.
Michael Azgour is a contemporary artist exhibiting in galleries in museums. His work focuses on the gap between the perceived and the real.
video by Michał Grzywacz
Michael Azgour on Inspiration and Painting (2018)
Artist Michael Azgour talks about what interests him as a painter and takes us into his studio for a glimpse at his process.
Produced by Michał Grzywacz
TEDx Krakow (2017)
TEDx Talk: “Capturing change: how unfinished artworks invite active viewers” Presentation by Michael Azgour at TEDx Krakow, Manggha Museum
Protagonist is an ongoing series of paintings inspired by people and places I’ve encountered while living abroad. Expressive abstract-figurative compositions draw from remarkable events and ordinary activities alike as individual histories are illuminated by paint on canvas.
As a California native, living in Krakow, Poland for over ten years has emboldened my creative fervor. Ways of daily life differ immensely, calling attention to vast discrepancies in what I would believe to be normal and, at the same time, highlighting intrinsic characteristics of humanity which our societies share.
My work has always involved the psychology of the subjects and the viewer alike, bringing the latter into a space in which they might enter the narrative. Overt abstractions, both geometric and expressive, as well as juxtapositions of incongruous forms, question the assumed narrative and give the viewer moment to pause and re-orient themselves. It’s through this sensibility of altering representational and abstract modes of painting that I am able to take a unique stand in the composition and wrestle with the very nature of perception to yield evocative works.
This series is inspired by and responds to contemporary applications of the photograph, modernist and post-modernist artists, such as those from the Bay Area Figurative Movement, and the illusionary painting tradition established in the Renaissance. It’s through art historical precedents which I’ve accumulated in 25+ years of painting that I draw upon license to break rules of aesthetics and depth in order to achieve a heightened level of awareness and fresh compositions.
The works in this series address the subjectivity of perceived truths by combining disparate imagery and painting styles and effectively distorting the physical relationships between figure and environment. The works often depict moments on the verge of change in which semi-coherent narrative is used to embody a larger span of time and meaning. Transparency and masking techniques reveal layers of paint, highlighting the artmaking process as a subject in itself. The paintings often contain areas which appear partially incomplete, inviting the viewer to engage with the work in their own act of creation, thereby completing the work. – Michael Azgour, 2023