I want the paintings to have the feeling of vague recollection, a memory that starts to form but disappears. – Joshua Hagler
Joshua Hagler’s enigmatic paintings are inspired by a variety of sources – blind contour drawings made at night, sonogram pictures of his unborn child, and images of Tonya Harding, among them. Here, Hagler’s loose, improvised style and skill with color transform a traditional vanitas – the art historical genre depicting symbols of death meant to convey the vanity or fragility of life. A statue of a baby, skull, snake, and vase of flowers all hint at the passage of time, while the smeared, disappearing surface of the work brings these issues into the materiality of paint itself. Solo exhibitions of Hagler’s work have been held at the Brand Library and Art Center in Los Angeles and the Roswell Museum and Art Center in New Mexico. His paintings, sculpture, video, and animation have been included in show at venues in North and South America, Europe, and Australia.