For his first exhibition at Lisson Gallery New York, abstract painter Peter Joseph presents all new work. Recognized for his early paintings of simple, formally symmetrical shapes in a carefully considered color palette, the works in this exhibition continue his recent experimentation with a looser structure. These new compositions further extend Joseph’s departure from the closed boundaries of his early work. He is the longest standing artist represented by Lisson Gallery, with his first exhibition in London in 1967, and this exhibition will be his sixteenth in nearly fifty years of collaboration. The gallery will publish a fully illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition, acting as a continuation of the 2014 publication Peter Joseph: The New Painting. The second volume will include an essay by art historian Alex Bacon.
The new paintings are rendered in sunny shades of pastel colors, referencing Joseph’s home and studio in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds in the English countryside. Joseph is often inspired by nature and classical architecture, and approaches his paintings with a consistent conceptual practice similar to that of an architect’s draft. Joseph begins his paintings by studying swatches of colored paper and canvas. In these pieces he works to select two hues which he finds complement or create an interesting juxtaposition with another. Using this “sketch” he then mixes acrylic paint to exactly the color of the swatch, and applies it to the canvas in washes identical to that of the study. As Joseph notes, “For me, it’s like an architect who makes a drawing on paper in two dimensions and then realizes the vision in real space.” The paintings in the exhibition will be accompanied by a selection of studies, demonstrating Joseph’s artistic process.
Writing on Joseph’s recent work and their effect on the viewer in the catalogue, Alex Bacon describes: “This sense of things coming together and falling apart, in constant motion while still expressing an ultimate impression of balance and stability is what captivates us when looking at Joseph’s recent work. It is also how I imagine—even if he works intuitively—the artist judges the success or failures of his paintings. Even if there are intellectual issues to be gleaned from these formal considerations, we must start there, with the terms set out by the paintings. To begin with, these means, and our experience of them as viewers, are unabashedly romantic—insofar as they suggest the tone, rather than the shape, of our sensate experience of the world.”
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