Throughout his painting career, Michael Souter has relocated frequently, with each successive move resulting in another layer of influences. In San Francisco, he explored the use of bold shapes and of introducing texture. In Tokyo, he took up the idea of using large-scale pieces and the suppression of color, which involved layering black and white paint on top of intensely-colored hues. And in New York, he tapped into using motion and a more symbolic language.
Throughout much of his work, Souter has applied the technique of layering colors: He builds up his surface and then deconstructs and “reapplies” consecutive layers of paint, thus denying the painting’s uniform flatness. Souter works by reacting to the fluidity and immediacy of the paint, controlling and giving up control, and exploring the tension that results. He eschews the traditional painter’s tools in favor of using non-conventional and found objects to create texture and patterns. Evolving through an elaborate process of felt experience and intuition, his non-objective works often take on a life, and a history, of their own.
Souter holds a BFA in painting from Western Michigan University. Souter has also held faculty appointments as a painting instructor at the Ecole International in Geneva and the California College of Arts. His paintings have been exhibited in New York, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Torino Italy, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Geneva.
Michael Souter currently resides in New York City.