Facing Catastrophe With Calm

Joshua Marsh, “Asymmetrical Synthesis of the Sensible” (2021), acrylic on canvas over panel, 22 x 17 inches

BEACON, NY — I have been following Joshua Marsh’s work ever since I saw and reviewed Ten Things, his first show of paintings and drawings at the now-defunct Jeff Bailey Gallery in the fall of 2010. Then, in 2017, I reviewed Joshua Marsh: Paper Garden at Jeff Bailey Gallery, after it had relocated to Hudson, New York. Two things struck me about the latter exhibition.

The first is that Marsh is creating two distinct bodies of work: pencil drawings, where textures are articulated with hallucinatory precision, and tonally saturated paintings, in which form and dissipation, materiality and immateriality, create a site of contemplation. The second is that Marsh, who started the drawings in Paper Garden while he was an artist-in-residence in the Troedsson Villa in Japan, which is located on the grounds of a former temple in Nikko, a city north of Tokyo and UNESCO World Heritage site, has experienced some of the landscapes recorded by Classical Japanese artists.

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