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Joshua Podoll
at Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, California
Recommendation by Michael Shaw

Joshua Podoll’s latest body of work is his largest and its most merged: that is to say, signatures and elements of past paintings are now tossed into expressionistic yet controlled mélanges. Based on his meditation practice(s), the segments of each painting may be seen as disparate trails of thought as they float in and out of his, and now our, consciousness. Airbrushed passages - Stella-esque black-and-white stripes; triangles in a circle or square – hover alongside Josef Albers multiple squares and painterly gestures in oil. And then there are the Hans Hoffman, hard-edged rectangles (the references are unavoidable, so let’s get them out of the way). It may or may not be painting with a series of quotation marks; that’s a quick and easy way out. Less like Hoffman and the push-pull aesthetic, Podoll’s paintings invite meditative contemplation. Of course, in theory, which paintings don’t? Here, though, they’re tuned to just that wavelength: the flatter, trippier, masked areas are part of a larger, contemporary vocabulary made for heavier visual, and therefore contemplative, vibrations.

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