Joseph Egan (* April 15, 1952 Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA)
It is the artist who decides how much importance he wishes to assign to an exhibition, and especially to his current exhibition.
For Joseph Egan, every exhibition is a significant occurrence. And therefore the preparation and the installation, or more precisely the composition of the exhibition is its own creative process. The exhibition proves to be an opportunity to make more and other things visible than what becomes readily apparent when contemplating the individual work. Call it context or continuity – in any case the exhibition conveys an experience to the viewer that is henceforth enduringly associated with each work.
Of course, the completeness of the individual work should neither be devalued nor called into question, for Joseph Egan does not work in series that bind the individual work into a whole and contribute to an understanding of the individual work. He is equally uninterested in the development of a style that suggests a unity. Rather the exhibition creates dialogs and connections of an aesthetic and spatial nature and it is an important characteristic of our stream of perception that all objects, including those from everyday life, are integrated in a greater sphere, serving to outfit and enrich our imagination.
Joseph Egan likes giving names to individual works and groups of works. For many years, these important manifestations have been further accompanied by exhibition titles. The evocative word creations or word constellations can be understood in a sense as an approximation, as an insinuation of meaning that gets variously embodied in the sensually tangible object. It is without question that verbal images evoke an atmosphere occupying a coherently formed place in the memory of what has been seen:
A Place to Paint Further – Wander Way – Some Sing – Paint to Colour – Rain on the roof – Voices – across the board – Colorcomb and now Local Color.
The fine linguistic combinations can be compared to a melodious book title, the title of a volume of stories, or better still of poems. In any case, it is often the case that the things the poet undertakes and brings about with language are accomplished by the painter with his own means. For Joseph Egan, color is the source of inspiration and associations, and it contains a strong connection to visible reality. Using color as a raw material achieves a linking of ideas and projects, becoming exemplified in the pictorial objects. In the works on paper and the canvasses, the application of color transforms the picture support into a deep and dense surface.
Color can be understood on one hand as an idea, as a precise definition of hues and color values. This would be a conceptual separation and isolation, as it were, far from the everyday presence of color in the world around us. Yet the latter, this everyday presence, the everyday use of color is precisely what concerns Joseph Egan.
Herein lies the key to ‘Local Color’, the exhibition of Joseph Egan that is presented with this gallery note. Moods, places, images are a stimulus and motivation for his creative energy.
‘What makes an object beautiful is the fact that these relations are themselves related in turn, giving them a greater density.’ This formulation by Claude Lévi-Strauss provides a fitting conclusion to our remarks.
Tribute to James Bishop
April 21 to September 11, 2021
AGNES MARTIN Religion of Love | RICHARD TUTTLE Illustration
Publishers: Estate of Agnes Martin Dream Tree Project, Inc. Richard Tuttle Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, Germany
Publisher: ER Publishing, Edited by Molly Warnock
Joseph Egan and Anton Himstedt: Common Ground
Publisher: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop, Ulrike Growe