John Torreano was born in Michigan in 1941. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1963 and his Masters of Fine Arts from Ohio State University in 1967.

When Torreano began his artistic career, he used unconventional materials to break the rules of painting as he understood them at the time. He sought to challenge essentialism, the flatness of a painting, or the idea of art as a container, relying on more visually accessible sources to invent his abstractions.

Torreano’s interest in astronomy led to his fascination with the way painted dots reflected light according to the location of the viewer, the time of day and the lighting in the room. Although much of his work refers to spatial imagery, he often uses space as a metaphor, less attached to specific images. Torreano explores the materiality of the acrylic gems, the wood and the glue and continues to explore his interest in the contradistinctive dynamic; he aims to create work that vacillates between illusions and allusions to the physical. John Torreano is currently a full professor and Director of the MFA Programme at New York University.

“Art is multi-faceted. What you see is determined by where you are in relation to a particular facet. Move to the right or left and what you see changes. Sometimes you see the brightness of the surface because at that moment, it is highly reflective. Then, from a different angle, you can look past the surface to the centre and experience structure and meaning.” - John Torreano