Joseph Havel


graphite, oil stick, and oil paint on paper
30 x 22 inches

I’m interested in capturing the ordinary, whether it be an object or a momentary event. I want to make it permanent but make it seem like it isn’t. – Joseph Havel

A long-time figure in the Texas art scene, Joseph Havel is best known for his sculptural practice, where everyday objects like bedsheets and shirt collars replicated in resin or bronze are presented emptied of the bodies that occupy them. For this series of work, Havel produced numerous drawings in gray marker, graphite, and oil stick, “just trying to figure out how to draw a circle.” The instinctual movement and thick marks are results of Havel, “taking bits of himself and putting them back into a hole.” Havel’s sculptures and drawings are included in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis; The Menil Collection, Houston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Honolulu; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Musée Arte, Roubaix,; S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Havel lives and works in Houston, where he served as director of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Glassell School of Art until he retired in 2021.