Artist Haley Josephs' surreal paintings use bold colours and dream-like imagery to explore themes of femininity, transformation, and mortality.Read More
Born in Seattle, Washington, Josephs received her BFA in Painting & Drawing from the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia in 2011. Josephs went on to attend Yale University, receiving her MFA in Painting & Printmaking in 2014. Today, Josephs lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Paintings and Drawings for Childhood's End, Josephs' 2020 solo exhibition at Jack Barrett, New York, marked a departure from her solely oil-based practice, featuring several large-scale coloured-pencil drawings alongside three oil paintings.
Celebrating the life of her late sister, the exhibition explored youth, the fleetingness of life, and the continuity of the spirit in the afterlife. The exhibition included images such as A Depiction (Transition, Death, Rebirth) (2020), There Lives in Me an Image of All That I Should Be (2020), and Into Everything Unseen (2020). Frequently depicting children, Josephs' work nods to transformation through life's passages—childhood to adulthood, birth to death, and eventually rebirth.
Haley Josephs accepted representation with Almine Rech in 2021, holding her inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery at Almine Rech, Brussels.
Josephs' paintings employ lurid colours, recalling the fantastical landscapes of Surrealist painters. Beginning with the figure, Josephs mixes colour straight onto the canvas. Building and subtracting layers of paint in the process, Josephs' artwork culminates in whimsical dream-like scenes.
Josephs' solitary figures embody the artist's personal history and own emotional trauma. Figures appear as doubled versions of themselves in works such as One and Many Are the Same (2020), Hand on the Grindstone Heart on the Flower Eye on the Light (2020), and Backyard (2020). Floating within surreal environments, the mirrored figures suggest the reflective worlds of both life and the afterlife.
Solo exhibitions include Paintings and Drawings for Childhood's End, Jack Barrett, New York (2020); Finger in The Hive, Jack Barrett, New York (2018); When Men Are Fairy Tales in Books Written by Rabbits, Deli Gallery, New York (2018); Back Gallery Series: Haley Josephs, Basilica Back Gallery, Hudson, New York (2017); Civil Twilight, Deli Gallery, New York (2016).
Group exhibitions include Salon de Peinture, Almine Rech, New York (2021); Different Strokes, Almine Rech, London (2021); Auguries Of Innocence, Fredericks & Freiser, New York (2020); Painting Someone, Almine Rech, Shanghai (2020); Right Behind Your Eyes, Capsule Shanghai (2019); Pleasure In Precariousness, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2019); Something Lush and Hot, Drippy, Monya Rowe Gallery, New York (2018); Virago, Hilde Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); Painting Forward, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2016); and Inaugural, 321 Gallery, New York (2014).
Josephs' work is held in the collection of the X Museum, Beijing.
Annabel Downes | Ocula | 2021