Art21 Extended Play

Josiah McElheny Sees Potential in Painting

Josiah McElheny painting in his Brooklyn, NY studio. Production still from the series ART21 Exclusive. © ART21, Inc. 2015. Cinematography: Jarred Alterman.

“Abstraction – in its potential hopefulness for imagining a different world or imagining a world that’s not absolutely apparent – can tie us together.” — Josiah McElheny

Today’s ART21 Exclusive features Josiah McElheny at work on a new series of paintings in his Brooklyn, NY studio. “People have often described my work as sculpture,” says McElheny, who only recently recognized the role of painting within his work from throughout the past two decades. In contrast to the notion that “painting might only be the surface,” McElheny is interested in creating the opportunity to look through paintings. McElheny creates mysterious, shifting abstractions by inserting glass prisms into his work, referring to the past yet suggesting possibilities for the future. The finished paintings are on view at Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York through Saturday, October 24, 2015.

CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Jarred Alterman & Ian Forster. Camera: Jarred Alterman. Assistant Camera: Garrett Burns. Sound: Ian Forster. Editor: Jarred Alterman. Music: Pinch Music. Artwork Courtesy: Josiah McElheny & Andrea Rosen Gallery. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

ART21 Exclusive is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.