The long arc of Joshua Hagler's oeuvre, with its focus on painting, could be traced by its slow, physical and conceptual disintegration - of it's imagery, politics, art historical underpinnings, and philosophical erudition - from its early pictorial messaging to a need, in more recent years, for direct physical experience of the numinous. Material layering is at the core of Hagler's work, combining a range of self-developed painting processes which force a loss of skilled control, making for radical pictorial transformation. The works situates itself in the paradox of absence and presence, the internal and external, and the sacred and profane.
Whatever research occurs with regard to issues such as mass shooting, wildfires, and religiosity in America, only demonstrates itself to the degree that it's relevant to the artist's own background and direct life experience. The personal is thus foregrounded and given preference over academic defenses, which are subverted at every opportunity. Hagler's distinct signature manages to span paintings both physically slight and vast, figurative and abstract. The work is intentional about avoiding redundancy common in an era of self-conscious branding, preferring endless evolution, while seeking to ground itself in deeper authenticity over time.
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