Joshua Hagler is known for his large-scale oil paintings depicting chaotic arrangements of human figures, often psychologically charged and in varying states of tension and conflict.
Hagler’s paintings exist in a realm where conventional beliefs about history, Christian mysticism, cultural identity, prophecy and philosophy are given an opportunity for reinvention, and an ability to coexist outside our narrow perceptions of their specific context. In his works, Hagler interrogates his own middle American upbringing, the 19th-century exploration of North America, modern science fiction and the techniques and traditions of Italian religious art. He responds with grand paintings which represent an excavation of time – layers of semi-realistic figures and historic scenes are distorted by marks, smears, cuts and puddles which render the images partially abstract, and allude to memory, “I want the paintings to have the feeling of vague recollection, a memory that starts to form but disappears,” Hagler said.
Joshua Hagler was born in Mountain Town, Idaho in 1979 and spent his formative years living between rural llinois and Arizona. Hagler graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2002 and currently works and resides alongside his partner Maja Ruznic, a fellow contemporary painter, in Los Angeles, California. Since 2006, Hagler has exhibited at both group and solo shows in galleries and museums across North and South America, Europe, and Australia. In the summer of 2017, he was awarded a place on MICA’s Alfred and Trafford Klots Program for Artists in Brittany, France and is currently attending a year-long Roswell Artist in Residence Program in New Mexico. His project proposal for a large-scale installation and exhibition has been chosen by the Brand Library and Art Center in Los Angeles to debut in the Summer of 2018.
Hagler was one of the featured artists in our summer group show Looking For U, an exhibition exploring themes of identity and communication in the modern age.