by Michael Hopkins
February 7 - March 17, 2017
Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts
“It is easier to see without words.”
That simple sentence is the full text of Michael Hopkins’s artist statement, but it is perhaps the perfect summation of his work in the X-Ray Series. These delicate paintings in white ink on slate reveal hidden aspects of our existence without resorting to literal description. They were created by Hopkins before he was diagnosed with a rare medical condition known as spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak syndrome, a disease that causes the fluid that keeps the brain afloat in the skull to leak, resulting in short-term memory loss.
Michael Hopkins earned his Associates of Fine Arts degree from William Rainey Harper College in 1981, and a bachelor of fine arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. Hopkins works with a variety of mediums and materials in his portfolio, including (but not limited to) white ink on slate (such as the X-Ray series pieces), pastels on masonite, gouache on paper, and acrylic on white plastic. He frequently maintains a black and white color scheme allowing viewers to focus on composition, rather than getting distracted by colors.
Hopkin's extensive list of solo and group shows have blanketed the Midwest, and also extended to such far-flung venues as Poetovio, Slovenia and London, England. His work can be found in the collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Educational institutions with his work include Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, the University of Michigan, and Luther College. In 2003 Hopkins was the recipient of a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York. He currently resides in Arlington Heights, Illinois.