JOSEPH HASKE was born in Washington, D.C., in 1945 and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts Advanced Painting Program (1968). Mr. Haske has shown extensively both nationally and internationally and his works have been exhibited at the Tucson Museum of Art (Tucson, Arizona); the Albright-Knox Gallery(Buffalo, New York); and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City). Haske is accomplished in the medium of printmaking as well as painting, and has been a professor at the Parsons School of Design since 1981. He lives and works in New York City.
REVIEW: JOSEPH HASKE at ADDINGTON GALLERY
Joseph Haske's second exhibition at the Addington Gallery presents refined semi-abstract paintings that use such motifs as tendrils and laurel leaves as emblems rather than as still-life images.
The artist deploys his lyrical forms on surfaces made from gesso and marble dust, which he sands and stains. They suggest weathered walls, though less the walls of a contemporary painter such as Antoni Tapies than those of anonymous fresco painters in ancient Pompeii, which now reveal only bits of designs that once had a logic we cannot now perceive.
This sense of incompleteness perhaps comes from the early 19th Century, when connoisseurs constructed buildings and texts they deliberately left unfinished in order to achieve a greater "poetic" effect. It was an impulse characteristic of the Romantic Movement. But Haske withholds his designs from easy picturesqueness or romance. Some pieces, in fact, approach the roughness of line such as in Brice Marden's meandering, improvised networks.
His smaller pictures give the satisfaction of portions of illuminations created on vellum or parchment. To make this connection, however, perhaps diminishes them by seeming to condone a surrender to bygone times that the artist resists, for his paintings are contemporary in the way they have worked from modern abstraction to develop a hauntingly personal language created from different cultures, present and past.
Red Square 1, acrylic on panel, 21x21
Wreath, acrylic on panel, 30x30
Essa, acrylic on panel, 14x11