Michael Adamson attributes some of his success to his studying at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany in his third year at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. At the school in Germany, there was a fascination among the painting students with Gerhard Richter, Adamson included. His breakthrough as a painter in Canada came in 1998 when he started to produce paintings in which he used grids to mirror the weft and weave of the canvas. His painterly signature is composed of discs of bright pigment applied to brilliantly hued canvas. At first influenced by modernist painters, such as Hans Hofmann and Gerhard Richter, he became in time an abstract painter using ideas of landscape with horizon lines and configurations that could be read as water and skies. His work was described in the Globe and Mail as "paintings that hover so tantalizingly between abstraction and landscape that you end up unwilling to settle for any single reading.
At the end of the 1990s, he began to show his work in vacant properties around Toronto. These “pop-ups” were artist-run centres which presented shows of new artists. From 1998 until 2008, painting became for him an “open country” to which he applied many approaches to composition and application. The Open Country series (2008) included 150 canvases completed over a five-month period, using different approaches to composition and application with each painting.
Adamson's exhibitions include shows at Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick (Goop, Guck, And Globs: The Materiality Of Paint, 2012); the Gardiner Museum, Toronto (12 Trees, 2015); Thompson’s Galleries in London (2016); and Couture Galleri in Stockholm (2016). In 2020, his show Abstraction in the Extended Field took place at the Art Gallery of Northumberland in Cobourg, Ontario.
This beautiful painting has Michael Adamson's Signature Style. He named the painting 40+ because he incorporated over 40 unique coloured circles in the work.