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PaintingsJosiah McElheny

October 23, 2015

Filmed in 2015, artist Josiah McElheny works on a new series of paintings from his Brooklyn, NY studio. “People have often described my work as sculpture,” says McElheny, who only recently recognized the role of painting within his work from throughout the past two decades.

In contrast to the notion that “painting might only be the surface,” McElheny is interested in creating the opportunity to look through paintings. McElheny creates mysterious, shifting abstractions by inserting glass prisms into his work, referring to the past yet suggesting possibilities for the future.

The finished paintings were on view at Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York in Fall 2015.

More information and credits

Credits

Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Jarred Alterman & Ian Forster. Camera: Jarred Alterman. Assistant Camera: Garrett Burns. Sound: Ian Forster. Editor: Jarred Alterman. Music: Pinch Music. Artwork Courtesy: Josiah McElheny & Andrea Rosen Gallery. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

Art21 Exclusive is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Josiah McElheny

Josiah McElheny creates finely crafted, handmade glass objects that he combines with photographs, text, and museological displays to evoke notions of meaning and memory. Whether recreating miraculous glass objects pictured in Renaissance paintings or modernized versions of non-extant glassware from documentary photographs, McElheny’s work takes as its subject the object, idea, and social nexus of glass. Influenced by the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, McElheny’s work often takes the form of “historical fiction”—which he offers to the viewer to believe or not. Part of McElheny’s fascination with storytelling is that glassmaking is part of an oral tradition, handed down generation to generation, artisan to artisan.

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