PROVENANCE: Courtesy of the Artist
“By substituting mirrored surfaces for canvass, this limited-edition series of irridescent paint on oval framed mirrors brings the viewer actively into the composition. In doing so, it begs the question that if any artist’s voice is censored, are not all our voices are diminished?”
Michael Tracy is a major figure in contemporary art, particularly in Texas. Tracy received his MFA in 1969 from the University of Texas. Moving to Galveston in the early 1970’s, he began traveling to Mexico and in 1978 settled in San Ygnacio, a small historic border town on the Rio Grande. Achieving national and international recognition in the 1980’s, Tracy exhibited in the Venice Biennale in 1982 and in London’s Tate Gallery’s New Art exhibition in 1983. One-person exhibitions include P.S. 1 in New York, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, and the Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City, with chapel installations for the Cathedral of Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Alice. Museums which have collected his works include the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art in St. Louis, the High Museum in Atlanta, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Menil Collection. Tracy’s work is highly expressive, laden with religious symbolism and iconography, strongly influenced by Mexican Catholicism, Hindu pageantry, the gulf of disparity between wealth and poverty, and the liminality of border issues and oppression. His body of work includes painting, sculpture, photography, film, performance, and jewelry making all bound together by the presence of ritual. Regardless of the medium, a powerful sense of beauty and brutality, sensuality and ritual, religion and oppression are present in his work. Tracy has a deep understanding of the human soul, a fragile balance between baroque religion and spiritual enlightenment, having immersed himself in it by living near the largest rivers of the world, be it the Rio Grande, the Ganges, or the Seine.