My practice has focused on making works on paper that are rooted in drawing and painting. I utilize a variety of materials in my process to create pictures that examine spontaneous versus articulated mark-making and tense yet balanced compositions. The results feel abrupt yet manage to achieve a bizarre and unexpected elegance that I find meaningful.
I’ve always considered paper a mere support, or the secondary surface that holds all the important stuff: evidence of touch, brush stroke, gesture, decisions and ideas. As I entered my workspace residency, I was eager to rearrange this hierarchy for myself and uncover ways of prompting the paper into playing a primary role. Ceding control to the process and materials, the resulting works rely on traditionally pulled sheets of cotton rag, layered with manipulated wet pigmented pulp. Additionally, I created individual sections, or quadrants, that were later edited and assembled to construct a larger whole.
The top to bottom, bottom to top, inside out, backwards to frontwards nature of layering and couching the wet pulp was especially interesting. It was quite easy to loose my sense of direction, which like in travel, is at first frustrating but eventually yields to discovery and surprise. I gravitate towards settings and systems like this, where over-orchestration is discouraged, and improvisation, impulse and instinct are rewarded.
I’d like to thank my collaborator, Paul Wong, for his steadfast help and guidance, and for the overall support from the Dieu Donne staff.
— Joseph Hart, 2014
Originally from New Hampshire, Joseph Hart is a Brooklyn, New York-based artist. He holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.