Artist biography

English painter. He was essentially self-taught and turned to painting in his mid-thirties after abandoning a career in advertising. His work of the 1960s was boldly geometric, relying on primary colours and on optical effects; during this period he also produced outdoor installations and colour walls of art environment proportions. In the 1970s his paintings became smaller, more private and meditative, coinciding with his increasing interest in poetry, philosophy, metaphysics and music. From 1971 he adopted a basic format for acrylic paintings such as Dark Blue with Black Border (c. 1979; Southampton, C.A.G.), consisting of a central rectangle of one colour surrounded by a border of a darker hue, with the proportions and colour relationships precisely gauged to convey emotional states and different qualities of light. His work is distinguished from other Minimal art by its fusion of a Romantic sensibility, as represented by the late work of Mark Rothko, and a classical sense of form attested to by his allegiance to the landscapes of Claude Lorrain and Richard Wilson.

Peter Joseph: Paintings, 1973–1983 (exh. cat. by J. H. Neff and others, Chicago, IL, Mus. Contemp. A., 1983)


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