Joe Wardwell

My paintings integrate landscape, text, musical allusions, and abstraction to investigate myths about “nature” and national identity in the United States.  Having grown up in predominately rural areas in the west, my commitment to landscape is both personal and political. The scenes of nature that now provide the foundation of my work evoke the natural environment in which I grew up.  These merge with an interest in Hudson River School painters such as Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Church.  I am immersed in the history of landscape painting in the United States and how our relationship to landscape is historically linked to the defining of a national identity.  From Emerson and Thoreau, to the early advocates of Manifest Destiny adopting the great pictures of the Hudson River School, to contemporary advertising- landscape and the American brand go hand in hand.

In these most recent paintings, through the painting of the text layer a complete abstract painting is created on each surface.  This abstract state exists separate from the landscape after the stencil is applied to the painting.  In each painting there is a state in the process when the image is a complete landscape painting and another when it is a complete abstract painting.  When the stencil is removed, the genres of landscape and abstraction visually compete within the same painting.  The finished work is unified solely through the text.

The text fragments are all lyrics from rock songs, which are taken out of their original context and create a new interpretation for the viewer. This interpretation illustrates an alternative American cultural consciousness.  By painting text into the landscapes there is a juxtaposition of imagery and text that undermines the images of landscape and their previous heroic cultural connotations and suggest an alternative narrative.

 

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Aint Getting Nowhere - wardwell

Aint Getting Nowhere
22” x 30”

oil and enamel paint on canvas
please inquire

$4000

down from day one - wardwell

Down From Day One (yellow)
30” x 22”
oil on canvas
$4000

please inquire

down from day one / red - Wardwell

Down From Day One (red)
30” x 22”
oil on canvas
$4000

please inquire

political bandit - wardwell

A Political Bandit
22” x 26”
oil and dye on canvas

$3850

please inquire

tell me what you think - wardwell

Tell Me What You Think
54” x 24”
oil, acrylic, and enamel on canvas

$5000

please inquire


too tired to fight about it - wardwell

Too Tired to Fight About it
22” x 30”
oil on canvas
$4000

please inquire


try to be nice - wardwell

Try to Be Nice and Look What it Gets You
22” x 30”

oil on canvas
$4000
please inquire
 

Parties Weren't Meant to Last
oil and enamel on paper
22 x 30 inches
please inquire

$2850 unframed $3250 framed

You Could Dissappear in Smoke
oil and enamel on paper
22 x 26 inches
please inquire

$2650 unframed $3050 framed

Too Tired to Talk About It
oil and vinyl on paper
22 x 30 inches
please inquire

$2850 unframed $3250 framed

Getting Nowhere
oil and vinyl on paper
22 x 30 inches
please inquire

$2850 unframed $3250 framed

Wardwell - Rebel Souls

Rebel Souls
oil on canvas
38 x 30 inches
please inquire

6000

Wardwell - Stupid Fucking Words

Stupid Fucking Words
oil on canvas
22 x 40 inches
please inquire

3800

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Need More

96 - 22" x 30" oil and enamel paintings on paper
dimensions variable / as seen 14' x 35'


917-737-2784 | email