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Michelle Oosterbaan’s drawings, wall paintings, and installations describe relationships between motion/stasis, and investigate ideas of cartography, memory and the idea of place, in an ever-evolving notion of the sublime landscape.


The traditions of architecture, science, religion, and poetry, deeply inform her current work. Her wall paintings chart and change space within the given circumstances of architecture. Her large drawings are cognitive maps that reflect my impressions of being in the world. Her working process is improvisational as the act of drawing guides my search for a new narrative.


Her fascination with light and land is rooted in her studies of plein-air painting as a teenager in Washington D.C. A prolific traveler, her residency fellowships include the Cite des Arts International, (Paris 2008), The MacDowell Colony (2004), Yaddo, as a John T. and Catherine E. MacArthur Fellow (2003, 2005), and VCCA (2016, 2009, 2006.)  Additionally, travel to residencies in Austria, The Netherlands, Iceland, and Berlin, Germany have expanded her research.


Oosterbaan has exhibited internationally including the Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Drawing Center, The Delaware Art Museum, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and Museum, The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO.


Recent commissions  include the DNC, Democratic National Convention, (Public Art Project Donkeys Around Town), the Mural Arts Philadelphia, (Kalpavriksha: The Tree of Life), Germantown, PA (Permanent Exterior Mural), and Pulse: Out to Move: A Mixing Light Workshop, The Mural Arts Program, PCAT, (Philadelphia Center for Arts and Technology), Philadelphia, PA.


Her drawings are in the Contemporary Drawing Pierogi 2000 Flat Files and The Drawing Center Viewing Program, New York, NY. Oosterbaan’s work has received critical responses in Art Papers, New American Painting Magazine, MW Capacity, The New Yorker, and Fukt, Berlin, among others.