Bodega Bay, Autumn
Orion Magazine Nov/Dec 2012
Orion Magazine Sept/Oct 2006
Text and paintings by Thomas Joseph: Nests
"I want to immerse myself in the experience of nature so that I'm not hunting for taxonomy; I'm not dissecting. I want simply to experience it." Read the full Orion piece [pdf].
On his farm Thomas lives in nature, intimately, as part of it. He lives intimately in his studio also, making his paints a part of himself. In his art nature and paint blend equally, conveying meaning and medium simultaneously.
The smaller pictures recall Zen painting in their focus and abbreviations. The larger pictures also have Oriental resonance, their bold calligraphy evoking nature alive. His work is emotional, often poetic, usually suggesting glad discovery and sharing. Always his statement is distinctly personal.
Blanche Brown was Professor of Art History at New York University and a lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was a Guggenheim fellow and is the author of four books, including Five Cities.
Fred R. Kline
Thomas Joseph is a poet with brush and paint; a master of line, color, and content; a painter of genius. His pictures are beautiful and touching examples of his love of nature married to his brilliant craftsmanship. Most paintings are spare, selective of subject, haiku-like: I find them to be spiritual meditations, profound and timeless. A recurring subject is the nest. I love his nests: they remind me of a home place in the cosmos, they calm chaos into order. Thomas Joseph's paintings are destined to be honored and remembered in American art history.
Fred R. Kline is an art historian, collector and gallery owner in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Patricia Condon Johnston
Alive in natural light and terrestrial time, Joseph's work relies on a plastic manipulation of paint and abstraction to reveal a Zen-like awareness of life forms. "I start with what I think caught my eye and the light and the shape, and as I get into it, I realize that it really was a leaner image. So I start trying to work for that leaner image that will convey what moved me to stop and see that particular thing. There's angst in my work, some of it's sort of dark, but there's also the other pole, which is pretty joyous."
Patricia Condon Johnston writes the Art & Etc. section of Sporting Classics Magazine.
David Ireland Rooms at the Headland Center for the Arts
The Headlands staff assembled a work crew of 24 young artists who volunteered a year of their time to do manual labor and contribute to the realization of Ireland's concept. Together they embarked on an artistic journey that in many ways was more like an archaeological dig than an art project. Ireland conceives of his work as exploration rather than imposition. Things that have acquired an identity of their own over time -- broken chairs, brooms worn by use, stained walls -- intrigue him, and this sense of history informs his work.
Thomas Joseph was one of the contributing artists who collaborated on this project. Read more about the David Ireland Rooms.