Joe Wardwell

Joe Wardwell superimposes words on landscape imagery. He uses a sophisticated stenciling technique where he paints the landscape, masks off the areas that he wants to keep visible, and then he overpaints the entire canvas. This is a simple enough device, but the meanings he wrests from it are profound. The words that are painted over the landscapes are often fragments of rock song lyrics, and they tend toward the deadpan. Joe Wardwell presents three quite different things at the same time: landscape painting, rock lyrics and brushy abstraction. The extent to which these three elements interconnect in any one painting varies, but to Wardwell they have this in common — they are all important components of the contemporary American artistic identity. Wardwell is less concerned with describing any particular place what landscape painting suggests about our relationship with the natural world: The entire history of American landscape art has been informed by a sense of unease about our destructive urbanization of the continent. Born in 1972, lives and works in Boston. He staged solo shows at LaMontagne Gallery in Boston, Heskin Contemporary in New York, Allston Skirt Gallery in Boston. His work has also been presented at Museum of Fine Arts di Boston, Rose Art Museum di Waltham.