PAVEL ZOUBOK GALLERY invites you to an exhibition of new mixed-media collages by DON JOINT that combine painterly abstraction with images appropriated from Japanese woodblock prints and Americana.
DON JOINT’s newest series, Waldameer, is a visual return to the artist’s boyhood memories of the historic Pennsylvania amusement park of the same name (the tenth oldest in America). Joint’s gestural washes of paint and ink create a magical atmosphere, a floating world in which carnivalesque images of clowns, toys, animals, rides and games combine with visual evocations of Japanese culture –– a poetic conceit inspired by the artist’s childhood musings on the phrase “Made in Japan”, stamped onto every colorful toy prize won at the amusement park.
In his introductory essay to the exhibition catalogue, critic David Coggins writes:
Don Joint’s collages navigate the elusive territory between wistful memory and physical fact. The effect is both dislocating and reassuring as we witness histories that have improved with time. Precise cuttings from Japanese woodblock prints – of fish, of robed figures, of bicycles – are set against vaporous landscapes. The concrete and unknowable are laid down on heavy paper in tactile elegies to things that cannot be held.
Loosely based on carnival games from his boyhood in Erie, Pennsylvania, this work recalls boardwalks, leisure and the ease of youth. Joint incorporates actual tickets that children collect to claim their prizes, creating an architecture, as it were, from the currency of the fair. With these games as his starting point, Joint evokes spaces and time that exist, perhaps, more naturally in the past. We are not called to witness a simple version of Americana as the artist knew it, but a broader illustration of histories we wish we had.
Waldameer follows two exhibitions of works from this series at the Washington County Museum of Art in Hagerstown, Maryland and Fred (London). Joint has exhibited internationally since 1992. His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Oklahoma Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The artist lives and works in New York City and Milton, Pennsylvania.
A full-color catalogue with essay by David Coggins accompanies this exhibition.