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Adam Shaw was born in New York City. Both language and visual expression have been central to his life since childhood. He has been painting and drawing his entire life, and began working with oils in the mid 1970's. He was educated in the Renaissance tradition, receiving a B.A. in Classics, with a minor in Russian and Italian. In 1979 and 1980 he lived in Florence, Italy studying language and art history. In 1981 he moved to San Francisco to pursue a Master's degree in Poetics at the New College of California. He has published a number of his own poems and has translated poetry from Latin, Russian and Italian.

Shaw credits many diverse influences in his work - Rembrandt, Turner, deKooning, Chinese landscapes - but he draws his primary inspiration from the materials and nature. " I consider myself a painter of the natural world, " states the artist. "Even though what I paint may have never been seen, or even existed before, it strives to be in accordance with all things that exist. My eyes do not distinguish between abstract and representational, for when observed closely, what is more abstract than upturned earth, the bark of a tree, the skin of a pomegranate, or the detail of a sleeve painted by Titian?"

In his northern California studio, Shaw works on at least a half-dozen paintings at any time. While paint dries on one, he contemplates the next step on another. He uses brushes, knives, sticks and other objects to manipulate paint, but his favorite tools are his hands, with which he rubs layer upon layer into each canvas. "In my work I strive for a synthesis of what is timeless with something original, a vision of abstraction borne on the shoulders of the classical; a way of seeing where the borders between objective representation and pure painting disappear; a glorification of the materiality and transcendence of paint in the service of the highest part of oneself."

Adam Shaw's work is in many corporate and private collections in the U.S. and Europe, including the Bank of America, The Gap, Marriott Hotels and eBay Corporation. He has exhibited his work in numerous group and solo exhibitions and is currently represented by galleries in Norwalk, CT, Santa Fe, NM, Scottsdale, AZ and St. Helena, CA.