(American, b. 1958) Joseph McGurl has been referred to as one of the acknowledged leaders in the current American landscape school. This has been confirmed by his inclusion in several important museum shows and his successful relationship with some of the country’s leading galleries. He has been the subject of numerous book and magazine articles and is also the author of several art related magazine articles published in print and online.
Joseph’s paintings may be considered philosophically modernist extensions of the 19th century Luminist painters. However; his interest in physics and the nature of reality has resulted in a thoroughly modern approach to style and subject. While retaining the modernist’s graphic design sensibility and individuality of message, he departs from post contemporary modernist forms by subverting the ego of the artist to achieve greater fidelity to nature. Additionally, he is one of the few contemporary realists who does not include the use of photography in his art. He is a devoted plein air painter which allows him to connect with the landscape on a profound level and gain a deeper understanding of his subject. Rather than relying on photography, this method gives him the freedom to create paintings based on his imagination, memory, and observation. Although the objects depicted in the paintings are elements of the landscape and have a deep, personal meaning to him, of equal importance is an exploration of light, form, space, and color interpreted through paint.
Mr. McGurl’s paintings have been included in several museum exhibitions in Massachusetts, New York, California, and Rhode Island as well as being exhibited in numerous group museum exhibitions which travelled throughout the country. He has had retrospective solo shows at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Cahoon Museum of American Art, and the Saint Botolph Club of Boston. The Arnot Art Museum’s Representing Representation, a survey of the most significant representational work being done today, included his work as an example of contemporary landscape painting. He is in the collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Mellon Collection, The Forbes Collection, Sen. John Kerry, and the Cahoon Museum of American Art. McGurl has been designated a Living Master by the Art Renewal Center in New York. He has been elected to the Guild of Boston Artists, was a Copley Master with the Copley Society of Boston, and is a signature member of the prestigious Plein Air Painters of America. His many awards include the Guild of Boston Artists Gold Medallion, The Art Renewal Center’s International Salon First Place in Landscape, American Fine Art Magazine Award of Excellence, The Rehs Award, a Purchase Award, and the John Singleton Copley Award for Artistic Achievement.