Exhibitions

Joe Coleman: 14 Paintings

February 1, 2007 to March 11, 2007

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France.

An obsessive pictorial universe embracing madness, holiness and serial killers
An artist, performer, musician and actor, Joe Coleman is a legendary New York figure. Playing with pathological obsession and a fascination for psychopathic tendencies, his dense and detailed paintings plunge viewers into an illuminated Gothic universe featuring cultural icons of violence, anti-heroes and historical figures. His works are more than simple portraits: they recount the lives and legends of their subjects (serial killers, the deranged, etc.) by adding texts, stories and a labyrinth of mini-scenes, rendering the reading of the images and text chaotic, all the while maintaining a highly structured and delicate compositional sense. His painting presents itself as an autopsy of the human condition – concentrating on its violent or demented side – which he dissects with a scalpel on the surface of a canvas.

Influenced in equal measure by Renaissance painting, medieval illuminations and crime comics of the 1950s, the artist replaces images of saints with contemporary figures of holy madness. His work exists in the tradition of painters like Bosch, Bruegel, Grünewald or Goya who were also inspired by madness, trauma or suffering. To this awareness of loss and human fear, Coleman adds a dimension of humour and a pictorial intensity that is almost hallucinatory.

Indian Larry, Glory of New York, War Triptych, Joe’s Fear of Disease, Big Bang: these are among the titles of the pictures Joe Coleman presents at his first exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo. A collection of twenty paintings by this self-taught artist provides an introduction to this world fed by obsessions and eccentricities. Mixing popular cultures and religions, the images of festival, war, paradise and hell seem like the extreme coordinates of a joyful world that is nonetheless haunted by perversity

This exhibition is presented in partnership with The Cartin Collection, Hartford, Connecticut and is curated by Steven Holmes. Since the 1980s, Joe Coleman had exhibited at various galleries in East Village in New York such as Limbo, Civilian Warfare and Chronoside. His work has also been shown at the American Visionary Art Museum, the Hieronymus Bosch Museum, the Wadsworth Athenaeum at Hartford, Connecticut, as well as the Seattle Contemporary Art Center. Coleman also maintains the Odditorium, his ongoing museum-like installation full of strange and disturbing objects including “vintage” weapons or taxidermy specimens.

Article about show here

Joe Coleman: 30 Paintings and a Selection From the Odditorium

September 9, 2006 to October 9, 2006

(dates are approximate)
Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NY.

NY Times review by John Strausbaugh.

Review in Art Critical

Subject

May 14, 2006 to August 15, 2006

Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, CT

"This exciting new exhibition, curated by Steven Holmes and culled from the renowned Cartin collection in Hartford, Connecticut, introduces contemporary approaches to portraiture ranging from traditional oil on canvas portraits to enhanced and re-worked photographs to three-dimensional assemblages referencing childhood memories. Subject explores–visually, socially, politically, and psychologically- the nature of portraiture."

http://www.lymanallyn.org/subject/

Strange

February 11, 2006 to February 25, 2006

The Cartin Collection, Hartford, CT http://thecartincollection.com Review: New York Times

Wormhole

October 10, 2002

(dates a guess, please let us know if you have better info) Franz Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands. Eight paintings.

Acquiring Taste

February 23, 2002 to June 30, 2002

Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT. Exhibition included works by Walton Ford, Chuck Close, and Tony Fitzpatrick. One painting.

The Circus in Twentieth Century American Art

October 19, 2001 to January 6, 2002

The Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford. Other artists included Reginald Marsh, Diane Arbus, and John Stewart Curry. Traveled to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, FL.

Brooklyn/718

October 10, 2001

(dates approximate) Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Palm Beach. One painting. Other artists included Bobby Neel Adams and Fred Tomaselli.

Hieronymus Bosch

October 10, 2001

(dates are a guess, please let us know if you have better inforamtion) Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Joe Coleman’s The Man of Sorrows is included in the section of artists influenced by the master. Exhibit included works by James Ensor, Salvador Dalí, and Pieter Breughel.

War and Peace

October 6, 2001 to September 1, 2002

American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore. Other artists included Henry Darger, Adolf Wolfli, Paul Laffoley and Frank Bruno. Two paintings.