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Joseph Haske was born in Washington, D.C., in 1945 and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts Advanced Painting Program (1968). Mr. Haske has shown extensively both nationally and internationally and his works have been exhibited at the Tucson Museum of Art (Tucson, Arizona); the Albright-Knox Gallery(Buffalo, New York); and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City). Haske is accomplished in the medium of printmaking as well as painting, and has been a professor at the Parsons School of Design since 1981. He lives and works in New York City.
"Life Magazine, in 1959, was a huge qualifier of American values. It ran a photo article on the Abstract Expressionists ... I decided then, at fifteen, not only that I wanted to do what they had done, but that I could do it." -- Joseph Haske
Haske arrives at his delicate, scrolling imagery through intuitive means, much as did the Abstract Expressionists who captured his imagination at an early age. He views abstract vocabulary as a constantly shifting and perpetually self-refining entity, and he mines its potential, filtering it through various historical concerns and new vantage points. In addition to acknowledging the abstract expressionists as an influence, Haske also cites the Italian masters Giotto and Fra Angelico, as well as the ancient paintings of Pompeii.
Haske's paintings reveal a glimpse into their own history through their layered and weathered surfaces and the powerful but considered gestures they contain. The forms in Haske's paintings have a sensuous, languid quality, while the grounds he prepares are reminiscent of frescoes and fragments of ancient walls. Presence and absence play a great role here, as the forms are partially wiped away and erased, hinting at the ebb and flow of time. Influenced by the writings of Jung, Haske's work represents a continual search through the subconscious for potent visual archetypes and symbols.