Michael Dines today, is known as one of the leading protagonists of contemporary American landscape painting. In 1988, after relocating to New York City from Atlanta Georgia, he began painting large nonrepresentational abstracts in his Chelsea studio. His work was championed by collector and art benefactor Lois Plehn, who he had meet while painting walls at the Whitney Museum. In 1990, through this relationship, he met art dealer, Jack Tilton, who curated Dines’s paintings into the newly founded Ho Gallery in Hong Kong.

Just as Dines”s career was heating up, He left New York and returned to Atlanta, marrying Erica George who would later become a prominent editorial photographer in her own right. In 1992 they took up residence in a spacious art studio in the new Marietta Street Art Corridor. That year he was curated into the Atlanta Biennial, Nexus Contemporary Art Centers answer to the Whitney Biennial. Along with Dines the exhibition incorporated such notable artists as, Kara Walker and Radcliffe Bailey. While finding his place in the Atlanta art scene Dines continued to work closely with Plehn and her business partner, Marsha May. The two promoted emerging artists such as David Hammonds along with Dines.

In 1994 Dines’s paintings took a major turn. He introduced arboreal imagery, inspired by the Appalachian environment where he was raised, into his work. This turn led to Dines’s first one-man show at The Lowe Gallery in Atlanta. He filled the sprawling space with two dozen paintings ranging from modest 2 foot pieces, to consuming 8 foot square panels. The opening reception was a crowded spectacle that lead to the majority of the work being sold by the nights end and the rest selling out by the exhibitions closing. The success of that first show led to his work being in high demand and the promise of a yearly one-man exhibition with the gallery. By 1998 Dines was lured away from The Lowe Gallery by renowned art dealer, Fay Gold. He was offered an exhibition in the fall of 1999 and then every fall for the next three years.

Dines’s work has continued to evolve to date, the majority being landscape derived. He bristles at the notion that they are mere landscapes, declaring “ The landscape is the beginning point of a struggle involving tone, weight, surface, texture and push and pull. When you really look deeply into my paintings, whether it is a painting of a tree, boat or horse, you will see the drips, the pours, the thin sheets of tone, the layers of texture, the gauges. All of this work is the stuff I dealt with when I was painting abstracts in my New York studio decades ago. Now it’s not just a struggle with those elements, but also a struggle to unit them with the landscape.”