Joshua Marsh’s Paper Garden

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Joshua Marsh is an artist whose work possess an illusive quality. Though his paintings and drawings can be deemed still life, they have an energy rarely found in this subject matter. The Pennsylvania based artist is represented by Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson, New York and has been gaining recognition recently. Still, he chooses to stay put in a small town, West Chester, near the Big Apple. His commitment to the untrendy mediums of painting and drawing, and to even less trendy subject matter, is admirable. It is also very welcome, because Marsh really does bring something new to the medium and genre. There is a quality of things being almost there, but partly obscured in in travel to a parallel universe. A simple household broom taken on a tinge of dark magic.

The artist’s latest exhibition at Jeff Bailey presents the result of a residency. Marsh was fortunate to spend two months at a residency in Nikko, Japan. I have been to this beautiful place, which is full of UNESCO World Heritage sites and lush mystical forest. It is very special. During his time there, Marsh worked on a series of 15 drawings. These are some of the most meticulously rendered graphite drawing I have ever seen — the artist’s range of mark making is breath-taking. And, with his mysterious mists, finely rendered bushes, murky waters, and strange scattered symbols, he communicates the unique spirit of the place, while infusing it with his own imagination. Like in his paintings, there is an eerie sense of things dissappearing, dissolving from object to background. Like a scene from a distant memory, or a dream, haunted by features of those long gone, they install a sense of both nostalgia and unease. The show is up until 17 September. You can find more of the pieces from it here.

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