international painting annual 4 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Joshua Willis
Brooklyn, New York

Purchase College of the State University of New York, Assistant Professor


detail image


My current body of paintings is the product of variably systematic, process-based approaches to image-making. Working with densely layered marks applied according to scripted, repetitive and often cyclical sequences of actions, I create compositionally-centered images of twisted, knotted or swirling forms. These forms, which reference decaying buildings, violent storms and diaphanous figures, loom large and partially occlude one's view of spaces beyond. Drawn from my childhood and adolescent experiences in the open spaces of the rural-Midwest, as well my more recent experiences living in America's largest urban center, these paintings contain a dual-reference to the crowded, layered and claustrophobic space of the city, as well as hints of the expansiveness of the land beyond. Depicting monolithic forms situated in ominous landscapes, these paintings represent incipient disarray in a structurally detached world, conflating the natural, geophysical processes of build-up and erosion with similar cycles in human civilization. Towers crumble, storms approach, and figures dematerialize; the paintings often convey a mood of looming tragedy and impending loss, which is equal measures personal narrative and socio-historical reflection.





born: 1980, Hamilton, Ohio



Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, MFA, 2007

Miami University, BFA, 2003


selected awards/honors

Artist-in-Residence Fellowship, The Jentel Foundation, 2009

Bernard Shaw Award for Excellence in Painting, Brooklyn College, 2006

Graduate Investment Research Grant, Brooklyn College, 2006

Summer Scholars Research Fellowship, Miami University, 2002


selected publications

How-to Brooklyn: How to Set-Up a Home Art Studio, Brooklyn, New York: The L Magazine, February 2012


selected solo or two-person exhibits

Sensoria, Artworks Gallery, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 2011

Marksmen and the Palimpsests, Centotto, Brooklyn, New York, 2010

Same River Twice, Pelham Art Center, Pelham, New York, 2009

The Things We Carry On, Carnegie Center for the Arts, Newport, Kentucky, 2004


selected group shows

City of Tiny Lights, Salisbury University Art Galler, Salisbury, Maryland, 2013

Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition, Bradley University Galleries, Bradley, Illinois, 2013

Natural/Constructed Spaces, The Painting Center, New York, New York, 2012

Scripts and Systems, Lexington Art League, Lexington, Kentucky, 2012



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