Joseph Hart: Unnamable

, ,
Open: By Appointment

79 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937, New York, USA
Open: By Appointment


Joseph Hart: Unnamable

New York

Joseph Hart: Unnamable
to Sun 19 Jul 2020
By Appointment

Halsey Mckay Gallery presents Unnamable, an exhibition of dynamic new work by Joseph Hart. Unnamable continues Hart’s 15-year pursuit colliding painting, drawing and collage, automatic mark making and abstraction.


Halsey McKay Joseph Hart 1

Halsey McKay Joseph Hart 2

Halsey McKay Joseph Hart 3

Halsey McKay Joseph Hart 4

Halsey McKay Joseph Hart 5

Halsey McKay Joseph Hart 6

Halsey McKay Joseph Hart 7

“Each work begins on my studio floor. Disjointed and over-sized sheets of paper are casually laid down, allowing me to labor from above and walk through, on and around each primordial picture plane. With a flexible aesthetic strategy in mind, a graphite crayon in one hand and a handful of batter-like acrylic paint in the other, I intuitively scrawl out wayward gestures and line work, apply and smear paint, then rip out, re-orient and replace entire sections of the surface. In turn, problematic areas of one painting become zones of triumph in another. This system of upcycling is tweaked and fine-tuned, resulting in an aggregated harmony that sways between contrasting sensations: deliberate but chaotic, rageful and generous, awkward yet bizarrely graceful. Through these dualities, I want my work to be balanced but also a little off, aware of its imperfections and allowed to operate on multiple emotional plains. I want my paintings to be allegories for the complexities of life.

We are in the midst of one of the largest (and re-energized) global social movements in history. While my work does not directly examine themes of injustice, I believe that art is inextricable from life. Acknowledging the murder of George Floyd and so many others by police, and the uprisings against state-sanctioned violence, racism and anti-Blackness cannot be set aside here. I’d like to use this opportunity to redirect your attention towards our collective humanity:

Authentically working towards social justice and equity requires a lifelong and multi-generational commitment beyond this moment. Education, antiracist practice, action and follow-through will be everything. I’m enthusiastically doubling down on these obligations. My plea is that you do the same.

Linked below are organizations that my partner and I have supported over the years. Each does important and meaningful work to improve the lives of Black and Brown people. Halsey McKay Gallery and I will be equally distributing 100% of all proceeds from the sale of this set of new drawings that will be made available at a discounted rate to these organizations. Additionally, I’ll be donating 25% of my proceeds from the sale of all work in Unnamable. I’d also like to underscore the echoing and needful fact that Black Lives, Black art and Black joy matter.

We’ve lived in Red Hook, Brooklyn for over 17 years and Red Hook Initiative is a neighborhood institution. RHI’s work focuses on youth development, community building and community hiring all in the service of working towards social change and overcoming systemic inequities. One of their projects is Red Hook Farms–a youth centered urban agriculture and food justice program that spans over 3 acres in our neighborhood. The farms offer employment, educational programming and a seasonal CSA.

Red Hook Art Project is a community-based arts studio that provides a space where young people feel safe and supported as they develop their individual voices through art making, music and other creative activities. RHAP also offers homework help and stress management workshops.

The National Bail Out (Black Mama’s Bailout) is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists that work towards ending systems of pre-trial detention and mass incarceration. An extension of this work is Black Mama’s Bailout, which coordinates bailing out Black mothers and caregivers so they can spend Mother’s day with their families.”

–Joseph Hart, June 2020

Joseph Hart is a New York-based visual artist. His work can be found in the public collections of the RISD Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Davis Museum at Wellesley College and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recent exhibits included Telephone To The Devine at Carvalho Park, Brooklyn (2019), Monk Tooth at Romer Young Gallery, San Francisco (2018), Night Shortly at Susan Inglett Gallery, New York (2018) and Drawing Island at Journal Gallery, Brooklyn (2017). He has taught at the City College of New York, Penland School of Art Craft and Rhode Island School of Design. Hart is also the founder of Deep Color™–an independent oral history project and podcast that features long form interviews with artists and arts professionals, covering a diverse range of backgrounds, career stages and areas of expertise. To date, Deep Color™ has published over 60 individual profiles and has participated in public programming at On Air Fest, The Armory Show and New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA). Hart received a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1999.

Courtesy of the artist and Halsey McKay Gallery, New York

more to explore:


By using you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience. Close