Michael Spafford (1935-2022) was a major force in the Northwest art community as a painter and printmaker since the 1960’s. Influenced by his studies in art history at Harvard University, (particularly of the epics), and later by the muralists while he lived in Mexico, his emphasis has been on Greco-Roman mythology as an avenue of expression about contemporary culture. He continually found new inspiration and perspectives for fresh imagery, resulting in extended series for The Labors of Hercules, the Iliad, the Odyssey, and other mythologies surrounding Europa, and Romulus and Remus. Visually the figures are compressed into two dimensions, with no modeling, turning them into flat forms and patterns, stylized to the point of abstraction.
Michael Spafford’s work was the subject of three different and concurrent gallery exhibitions in Seattle. Davidson Galleries is proud to have been a part of the Epic Works project, along with Greg Kucera Gallery and Woodside/Braseth Gallery. Each focused on different mythologies or mediums. Davidson Galleries represents Spafford’s large scale original prints.