Michael Rush

Last Name: 
First Name: 

Michael Rush is the former Director and Chief Curator of the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art. An experimental theater and video artist, as well as critic, he was the founder of NHAT, Inc. (CT) and Seated Man, Inc. (NY), two institutions devoted to the development and presentation of experimental art works in multimedia, as well as curatorial projects. He is the author of NEW MEDIA IN LATE 20TH CENTURY ART and VIDEO ART, both commissioned by Thames and Hudson. He is a regular contributor to THE NEW YORK TIMES, ART IN AMERICA, and NEWSWEEK.com. He has published more than 300 articles and reviews on contemporary artists, especially those working in video, film, digital art and performance. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from St. Louis University and his doctorate from Harvard University. For the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art he curated VIDEO JAM, with co-curator Galen Joseph-Hunter, a forty-five artist exhibition of new video art and installation, as well as BROOKLYN!, co-curated with Dominique Nahas, which was a celebration of the current art world phenomenon in this NY borough. He created the New Media Lounge at PBICA, one of the first venues devoted exclusively to new media art in a US museum. He was one of the first curator/presenters to show what was to be called "new genres" art (mixed-media theater, dance, film, installation) in the 1980's in a variety of venues in New Haven, CT. and New York City. A longtime advocate of experimental art forms, he has served on numerous panels for foundations and government agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Rhode Island Council for the Arts, and others. He is frequently featured as a lecturer and panelist on contemporary art, especially new media. He is the creator of more than a dozen award-winning original video projects, documentaries, and experimental theater works. His work has been seen on Public Television, in theaters and festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe, most recently at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Kunsthaus, Zurich. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts, The New England Foundation for the Arts (with the Rockefeller and Ford Fndtns.), the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. His films on art are in numerous collections in universities, art centers, and museums internationally. Among his numerous multi-media projects as writer and director are: Here Everything Still Floats (1999), based on his play of the same title concerning early death among the young; The American Century: Art and Culture: 1990-2000, a documentary on the Whitney Museum exhibition; Biennial '97, a documentary on the Whitney Museum's 1997 Biennial art exhibition; Music in This House, a short film commissioned by Projects for a New Millenium (1997); Mishima Montage, a stage and film project based on the life and writing of Yukio Mishima (1996); The Proust Project: Remembrance of Things (Past), a multi-part work (1988 to present), based on the life and writings of Marcel Proust; Here Everything Still Floats (l994-5); The Bride and Her Bachelor (l993), based on works by modernist painters; Le Cirque du Temps/Time Circus (1990, created for Duke University's Institute of the Arts) and Seated Man at a Table (1990), based on a series of paintings by Pablo Picasso, created for the Bennett Siegel Gallery, NY, and presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art in conjunction with the work of American sculptor, George Segal. His films on artists include Louise Bourgeois and Sue Williams, which was commissioned by Kunsthaus, Zurich in 1997. In 1993 he was privileged to receive the rights from the Samuel Beckett Estate and Jasper Johns to dramatize the Beckett/Johns collaboration FOIRADES/FIZZLES which received its world premiere at LaMama E.T.C. in 1994 and toured internationally. Prior to his full-time pursuit of contemporary art, writing, and performance, he was for several years a Jesuit priest ands clinical psychologist. He lived and worked in many countries, experiencing the culture and art of several parts of the world: China, Japan, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, to name a few.