The importance of language: Josephine Halvorson

 Josephine Halvorson, “Hot Coals,” 2009. This images is from her 2009 show at Sikkema Jenkins. I’ll post images of new work after her upcoming show opens.

Here’s the press release of the day, which was selected because the language used to describe Josephine Halvorson‘s beautiful, old-school perceptual paintings makes them sound edgy and very fashionable–sort of relational aesthetics-y. Halvorson teaches painting at The Cooper Union and at Princeton University, and she serves as a Core Critic in the MFA program at Yale University. “What Looks Back,” the Brooklyn artist’s second exhibition with Sikkema Jenkins & Co, is on view from October 21 to December 3, 2011. I’m looking forward to seeing her new work.

Josephine Halvorson has an itinerant practice. She searches for objects willing to �look back.’ Working perceptually on site, Halvorson�s paintings contain the reciprocities that develop between artist and object, and become testaments to time spent. The exchanges, which take place in a single session, test the limits of the body, witness the vagaries of weather and light, attract passing strangers, and – when materialized in paint – take on unexpected meanings.

The works on view were made in places as diverse as Shoshone, California; Canaan, New York; Akureyri, Iceland; and Shoreham, England. Halvorson’s explorations are not only geographical, but also psychological. Chance encounters with objects in their environments realize internal glimpses of paintings unmade yet somehow anticipated.

 Halvorson considers a painting successful when it asserts a life independent of its power to represent either the original object or the experience of its own making. She hopes these paintings return the attention that produced them and, as a group, evoke an ever-evolving narrative.

Josephine Halvorson, ‘Shaker Shelf,’ 2009, oil on linen, 16 x 19.” This painting was on view in “Clockwise from Window,” Halvorson’s  2010 exhibition at Monya Rowe.

“Josephine Halvorson: What Looks Back,”  Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York, NY. October 21-December 3, 2011.

Related posts:
NY Times Art in Review: Fischer, Halvorson, Santore (December 2009)

One Comment

  1. Nice paintings! But the write up needs to go. The work is basically still life; why not write about it as it relates to that tradition? Also, the style and method (finishing in one session)is very reminiscent of Luc Tuymans, with a little more obvious use of color.

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