Regardless of the subject matter, Joseph's approach to painting is always a visceral and physical confrontation with the paint, himself and the world. Painting in a classic expressionistic style he infuses his work with an explosive sense of desperation, often scraping out and removing more paint than is left on the canvas. In an attempt to "capture not just the created thing, but the forces that shape the created thing" he has developed his technique to a point where he insists that 'one paints how one lives life’
Paintings representing such diverse themes as bombs, flowers, bulls, crumpled fabric or paper and pretty girls in water all carry his signature style of ferocious mark-making and explosive compositions. To the casual viewer, these themes seem unrelated to each other except in technique, but to the careful observer they in fact are all intimately related to each other, like pieces of a puzzle, or fragments of a story that has not been fully told. In fact, Joseph has always maintained that he paints the same things over and over, just in different ways--as if 'I'm trying to more clearly understand and describe my world and my place in it...my purpose for being here at all.'
Messages & Memories:
In every person’s life there are moments when a powerful voice or inspiration changes the trajectory of his or her life. These messages or inspirations or whatever they may be called can’t be accurately put into words because words can only describe what words can describe. A painting is required to more clearly describe the inherent power-to-persuade these moments represent. When I was a boy I was frequently overcome by fear and anxiety attacks. I remember clearly two times specifically, at the apex of such an attack a feeling of relief would wash over me, as if someone opened a window letting a cool breeze into a stuffy hot room. This feeling of relief would consume me and ease all of my anxieties. It was as if a divine power enveloped me, held me and told me that “everything was going to be okay”. Those two incidents began a lifelong awareness of similar events and circumstances that shaped who I am today, for better or worse.
I suppose that the composition of these paintings which resemble the vast landscapes of the Canadian prairies from which I come, and the weather phenomenon known as Chinooks of which I enjoyed during my youth while I lived on the prairies have played a role in the physical make up of these paintings, but regardless of where these occurrences physically take place, they always find their home in the mind and heart where hope is in turmoil with uncertainty and fear.
Dreams and everything else:
All of my paintings, whatever the subject matter have at their core the same content. I’m always trying to capture in paint energy, enthusiasm and power. These characteristics embody the essence of those people who I have come to admire and try to emulate. Not necessarily painters but individuals who have had to overcome great obstacles in their lives. And almost always, the formula for overcoming the difficulties of life involves an acceptance of the task at hand and then an internal struggle to find the will to do what has to be done. All of my heroes gave their lives for an ideal and in so doing become sacred to me. The only way I can describe the feelings I experience when considering these things is when I consider the sacrifice of something so beautiful, pure, and powerful as a bull (particularly the Spanish fighting bull which is bred to be harmful to man) or in the unbridled and perfectly free dance of the horse. In essence the content of this avenue of thinking is really about dreaming--not just in terms of past events and reminiscences but also in terms of ambitions and goals.
In order to more completely explore the above-mentioned themes, it became necessary for me to consider subjects that could organically spread throughout a composition without loosing their structural identity. The scale of my floral work is conceptually very important, as these flowers are not small and precious but aggressively powerful and indomitable. In another sense, like my sacred bulls, they cannot die or wither-- they live forever.
Canadian/American Born, 1968, Calgary, Canada
1994 MFA, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY.
1991 BFA, Alberta College of Art & Design, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2000-Current Professor, Department of Art & Design, St. John’s University, NYC
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2016 Gremillion & Co Fine Art, New Work, Houston, TX
2014 Gremillion & Co Fine Art, Messages, Memories and Dreams, Houston, TX
2014 Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, New Paintings, New York, New York
2012 Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, Toro Bravo, Recent Work, New York, New York
2011 Kehler Liddell Gallery, New Paintings, New Haven, Connecticut
2010 West Rock Gallery, Paintings from Italy, New Haven, Connecticut
2009 Kehler Liddell Gallery, Affinities, New Haven, Connecticut
2008 Kehler Liddell Gallery, Deconstruction & Resurrection, New Haven, Connecticut
2005 Galerie Françoise, New Works: Figures, Baltimore, Maryland
2003 Galerie Françoise, Joseph Adolphe: Urban Landscapes, Baltimore, Maryland
2003 Gallery 119, Joseph Adolphe: Urban Landscapes: Brooklyn & Rome, Jackson, Mississippi
2003 The Object Image Gallery, New Paintings, Brooklyn, New York
2002 The Late Show, Rome: Paintings From the Eternal City, Kansas City, Missouri
2002 Pulmone Pulsante, Joseph Adolphe: Drawings 1993–2002, Rome, Italy
2002 The Late Show, Urban Landscapes-Brooklyn, Kansas City, Missouri
2002 North 6th Gallery, Joseph Adolphe: Drawings and Paintings, Brooklyn, New York
2001 Bogigian Gallery, Joseph Adolphe: Paintings, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITION
2015 Yeelen Gallery, ‘What’s Inside Her’, Miami, Fl.
2015 Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, Summer Collective, NYC
2014 New Zones Gallery, G’ddy Up!, Calgary, Canada
2014 Axelle Gallery, Winter Collective, Boston, MA.
2013 The Art Directors Club, Round ZERO, NYC
2012 Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, NYC
2011 Jonathan Frost Gallery, New Artists Showcase, Rockland, Maine
2011 Norwalk College Gallery, Zoology 101, Norwalk, Connecticut
2010 A-Space Gallery @ West Cove Studios, Large Works Show, West Haven, Connecticut
2010 Fontbonne University Fine Arts Gallery, Figure Now, St. Louis, Missouri
2010 Kehler Liddell Gallery, Size Matters, New Haven, Connecticut
2009 Paper New England, Go Figure, Newspace Gallery, Manchester, Connecticut
2009 Paper New England, Current Connecticut, Artspace, Hartford, Connecticut
2009 Ct. Comm. on Culture & Tourism, Touring Connecticut, C.C.C.T Gallery, Hartford, Connecticut
2008 Kehler Liddell Gallery, Change, New Haven, Connecticut
2005 Delgado-Tomei Gallery, Figuratively Speaking, Brooklyn, New York
2005 NY Law School, Print: O.I.A. Group Show, New York, New York
2004-5 Manhattan Graphics, Touring Group Show: Mono-prints, throughout India
2003-5 Conversations, Touring Group Exhibition, Beginning in Baltimore, Maryland
Evergreen House, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. Oct.2–Jan.23,
2004 Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, Delaware. Feb. 6–May 23, 2004 University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut. July 15–Aug. 20, 2004
2003 Galerie Françoise, Summer Group Show, Baltimore, Maryland
2002 The Object Image Gallery, Brooklyn Artists, Brooklyn, New York
2002 Gallery 119, The Self Portraits Show, Jackson, Mississippi
2014, ArtMRKT SAN FRANCISCO, Stephanie Breitbard Fine Art, San Francisco, CA.
2014, Dallas Art Fair, Newzones Gallery, Canada,
2014, Miami International Art Fair, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, NYC.
2014, ArtPalmBeach Contemporary Art Fair, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, NYC.
2013, Red Dot Art Fair, Miami, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, NYC
AWARDS AND HONORS
2014 Keynote Speaker, International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy, United Nations, NY.
2011 ManifestGallery.org, INPA2, International Painting Annual 2. Finalist. Chosen for cover image.
2011 ManifestGallery.org, INDA6, International Drawing Annual 6. Two large scale drawings selected.
2010 1st place winner, The Figure Now 2010, International Juried Exhibition, Fontbonne University, St. Louis, Missouri. "An International Juried Exhibition, which reconsiders traditional and contemporary approaches to the figure.
2009 Studio Visit Magazine, volume eight & volume nine. Juried publication.
1998 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.
1992 School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, MFA Program, Full Academic Scholarship
Fishman, George, “Visual Art: Artists’ talks, events make their works more accessible”, Miami Herald, Visual Arts Section, 07.18.14
Carrington, Dejha, “A Gallery Grows in Little Haiti”, Miami Design District, 06.27.2014
Rae, Haniya, “Heavyweight Paint”, Guernica Magazine, June 26, 2013
2010-2014 Documentary, Heavyweightpaint. www.Heavyweightpaint.com
Poets Artists, Joseph Adolphe, Issue No. 40, November 2012, pgs, 8-10
Sepulvida, David, Westville Painter makes “Heavyweight” Cut, The New Haven, Advocate, June 4, 2012. Web version: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/pugilistic_painters_film_features_westvillean/
The Coffin Factory, Shelter, Paintings by Joseph Adolphe Issue 3, pgs 43 & 46
Sepulvida, David, New Haven, Independent, “Open Studios Meets Westville Renaissance”, Oct 15, 2010. Arts Section.
Hoffman, Hank, A Continuum of Gesture, The New Haven Advocate Pg. 35, January 7–13, 2010
Catlin, Roger The State Through Artists’ Eyes, The HartfordCourant, Art Week section, pg. 12, November 6, 2008
Duran, Elvira J. Critic’s Pick, We All Need a Little, New Haven Magazine, pg. 38, October 2008
City Wide Open Studios Catalogue, 2008–2009 Artists Directory, Pg. 159
Glaser, Brian Visual Arts Journal, School of Visual Arts Magazine, Alumni Exhibitions, New York, NY, Volume 16, Number 2, pg. 90, 92.
Birke, Judy Two artists, two approaches make one fine show at Kehler Liddell, New Haven Register & (NewHAvenRegister.com), Section E pg.1–2, February 3, 2008
Duran, Elvira J. Joseph Adolphe at The Kehler Liddell Gallery, New Haven Magazine, pg. 48–49, January 2008
Kobasa, Stephen, V. Painting Thick, The New Haven Advocate, Pg. 39, Feb., 14–20, 2008 edition.
Hoffman, Hank More than scratching the surface, ctartscene.blogspot.com, Connecticut Art Scene: Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut, Thursday, February 21, 2008
Art in America, (August 2004). “Annual Guide to Museums, Galleries, Artists”, p. 15 (2665)
“Award Winners Honored” (November 2003) Charities USA, New York p. 26
Chalkley, Tom, (12/10/03) “Dialogue Boxes” City Paper, The Arts Section, Baltimore, MD.
Benoit, Julie, (Nov. 2003). “Conversations: Influence and Collaboration in Contemporary Art”, Radar 8, Baltimore Arts & Culture, p. 22
Giuliano, Mike,(July 20, 2003). “Two Galleries Offer Two Takes on the World”, The Messenger, p.11
M.F.A. Alumni, “Illustration as Visual Journalism”, School of Visual Arts Films, Documentary Video
Modenstein, S.A. (2003, Spring). “The Magazine Rack, Alumni Notes” Visual Arts Journal, p.42 & 46
Brown, Kenneth (2003, March 10). “New Showcase for Canadian Artist” Park Slope Courier, Vol. XXV No. 10, p. 4
Hackman, Kate. (2002, Nov/Dec.) “Eternal/Glorious.” Review, p. 14
Barnaba, S. (2002, June). “Citta e dintorni.” La Repubblica Trova Roma, p. 9.
Sacca, Annalisa. (2002, June). “Joe Adolphe: Disegni-Sulla Soglia Dello Sguardo.” Ilfilorosso 32, p. 57.
Selvaggi, Giuseppe. (2002, June 22). “La rivolta di Narciso.” Il Giornale D’Italia, p.14.
Hackman, Kate. (2002, May/June). “Joe Adolphe at the Late Show.” Review, p. 18.
Johnson, Dustin. (2002, July/August). “Rooms With Familiar Views”. Review, p. 65
Miller, Joe (2002, May 23-29). “Joe Adolphe’s Paintings.” Pitch Weekly p. 24
“Need an Art Fix: The Late Show Provides.” (2002, May 25). The Kansas City Star section F, p. 7
Stapley, Caprice. (2002, June 14). “An Artist Has Grown In Brooklyn.” The Kansas City Star section F, p. 33
Lucas, Sherry. (2002, March 24). “Self Portrait.” The Clarion Ledger section F, p. 5.
“Adolphe Exhibition at Bogigian Gallery” (Feb. 9, 2001) The Wilson Billboard, Pg. 3
“New York Artist at Wilson” (March 2001) The Chambersburg Gazette, Pg. C3