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  Bio        Past Exhibitions

"In Attitude, Josephine Haden shows work in several styles, but the majority of the pieces are acrylic paintings on wood that depict landscapes dotted with people, animals and modes lf upscale transportation.  "My intention is neither allegorical nor representational," Haden writes, which may not rule out satirical.  The figures in pictures such as "Team Members Only" seem to have wandered out of glossy magazines and seem oblivious to one another of their surroundings.  Often rendered in black and white, these escapes from Vogue, GQ and People strike poses in front of full-color deserts or woodlands, with luxury cars parked nearby or jetliners flying overhead.  Sometimes, there are skydivers or hot air ballons.  Or peacocks.  Disconnection seems to be the point . . . One of the most striking picture, Surprise, is a smaller one that portrays just a boy and a bird; it benefits from its limited cast of characters.  Also potent are Hadenís works on paper, more loosely painted and generally in black, white and a single accent color.  Vogue and GQ will never admit it, but sometimes less is indeed more."
                 Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post, Galleries,"Connection and Disconnection, Josephine Haden," November 18, 2011

"The ten artists whose works have been selected for the exhibition Fantastic Journeys create art that explores the intersections between real and imaginary, aspiration and actuality, potential and certainty. This exhibition is as much a representation of the dynamism of contemporary practice in the region, as it is a celebration of artistic individuality. Artists in Fantastic Journeys convey a spirit of adventure, mystery, and drama in their subject matter, as well as a constant curiosity to experiment with new materials and art forms. . . Josephine Haden creates strange, prophetic images that seem to slide between a contemporary wasteland and a post-apocalyptic fantasy. In Campfire, eight brumbies rise and gallop through the silvery landscape. In the centre of the work, eight children congregate around a blazing fire, seemingly unconcerned with the presence of the animals. Haden's images depict the dreamy stillness of dawn and dusk, and delve into the uncertain relationship humans navigate with the land.
      Beatrice Gralton, Juror's Statement, Evelyn S. Nef Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, June 2010

"Josephine Haden is interested in ecological threats and their political implications. Hadenís Globalization series creates a dichotomous universe where nature is invaded by civilization. Monochrome images that connote the artifice are detached from the natural surroundings. Hadenís characters are iconic extracts from our urban culture, who incoherently and dramatically try to fit into a nature they do not understand." 
                                                                       Janet Batet, Art Districts, April - May 2010

"Josephine Haden is an eloquent painter, a realist of sorts--I say ďof sortsĒ because thereís an aura of eeriness to her reality, however precisely (always precisely) rendered--but her images are also abstract, which no doubt adds to their uncanniness.  The blues, browns, and greens of her landscapes have a radiance all their own, independent of the nature they represent.  Her blue jumps out at us, relentlessly alive apart from the water it brings to life.  We see this again and again . . . Hadenís paintings are composed of pure colors:  bleak browns, flourishing greens, and royal blues, each differently charged with light.  Seemingly incommensurate, all the more so because they mark different kinds of surface and shape--Haden moves easily between the rough, raw, rounded and smooth, refined, flat--they nonetheless fit together, strangely yet seamlessly, like pieces of a trialectial puzzle."
                                                 Donald Kuspit in the Catalog of the McLean Project for the Arts Exhibition,
                                                            "Postcards from the Real:  Artworks by Josephine Haden,"
                                                            at the Emerson Gallery, McLean, Virginia, September 2007

"In her first comprehensive local exhibit in many years, nationally known Arlington-based artist Josephine Haden exhibits large-scale paintings, which simultaneously evoke infinite space and intriguing allegorical vignettes.  Using subtle but efficient compositional devices, she toys with perceptual expectations.  Blending open sky, vast bodies of water and soaring vistas with magazine, vacation and animal imagery, she creates visual stories that ask as many questions as they answer. Like postcards from another time and place, these paintings offer viewers a glimpse into a world where imagination transforms the mundane and banal into the extraordinary and unexpected."
                                            Nancy Sausser, McLean Project for the Arts News and Events, September 2007

"Here's to wishing you were here in award winning artist Josephine Haden's abstract works.  Discover the delight in the details of her overwhelming landscapes and sketch-like  figure in this talk about the collection."

Visual Arts, DC Modern Luxury Magazine, September 2007

ďHaden combines people, places, animals and modes of transportation in an almost-photo-collage fashion . . . While tending towards surrealism, these images aren't going quite that far . . . For surrealistic power, I'd have to go with ďGreen Cadillac.Ē  There's a cohesion here that allows us to surmise this one is about global warming on some level, but retains enough quirky oddness to keep it entertaining
. . . "Into The Blue". . . is refreshingly straightforward . . . it has rather clear Freudian interpretations of a sexualized dream by her, or by us of her.Ē 

Kevin Mellema, Falls Church News-Press Online, Northern Virginia Art Beat , September 2007

"So who stands out? . . . Josephine Haden who continues to baffle me with her paintings; which Iíve seen many times over the last few year, most recently at Strictly Painting V.  Haden's work is one of those that must be described: In the two pieces in this show ("Rescue II" and "Crossing"), Haden uses broad strokes to describe an ocean . . . not a meticulous sea painting here, but broad, plain blue strokes that describe an almost naive ocean.  And that is just where Hadenís work stops being naive.  She then adds landscape features, children on rafts, dogs, helicopters.  You name it, and Haden can paint it!  This is an artist who can visualize a collage (which is what her work initially appears to be) and uses a talented brush to translate it into canvas."

F. Lenox Campello on Washington, DC Art News (blog), July 29, 2005, and in the Old Town Crier, August 2005

". . . now at the McLean Project for the Arts is a bi-annual painting show called Strictly Painting  . . . the juror Jonathan Binstock, the contemporary art curator at the Corcoran . . . The following pieces were the standouts in the show . . . Josephine Haden's piece "Globalization." I was drawn to the imagery and the flatness and vagueness of the composition."

J. T. Kirkland on Thinking About Art (blog), June 28, 2005

"Gallery Kís . . . Josephine Haden uses plenty of soft, misty colors in her acrylic-on-wood paintings titled, respectively, It Hurts #1 and It Hurts #2. But her stuff cuts through the blur.  The paintings are far less decorative and detailed than Haden's previous works but have more emotional force.  Each consists of iconic images and small vignettes that show various stages of a woman's life from childhood through old age.  It isnít clear whether the paintings are autobiographical.  The scenes are scattered about the picture plane and backed by a misty landscape.  But they are arenít warm, fuzzy paintings.  There's an ominous undertone.  A Volvo station wagon, the preferred transport of the eco-conscious among Washington's upper middle class, sits by itself in It Hurts #1.  The rear hatch is wide open, like the gaping maw of some giant trap designed to capture rather than kill.  Suburbia as a life sentence?  Soccer moms in Hell?  Who knows?"

Ferdinand Protzman in The Washington Post, July 13, 2000

"Best Bets. At Gallery K . . . Josephine Haden has made breakthroughs in her landscape paintings.  Josephine Haden is one of the artists who lives in the Washington area that I have kept and eye on.  She really is just extraordinary."

William Dunlap on Around Town, WETA, PBS (television), May 9, 1996

"On Josephine Haden.  The work is strange.  I like the spatial issues.  I like the very close detail and the linear movement of the yellow flowers that jumps back and forth.  Zoom.  I like the incommensurate space.  This is a paradise lost or some place not fully available."

Donald Kuspit in a Lecture at the Arlington Arts Center, Virginia,  January 22, 1994

"Washington artist Josephine Haden's series of acrylic paintings display the expressive vitalism familiar from her previous showings . . . where she . . . confers life on the landscape of the imagination . . . executed in shades of yellow, green, orange and black, Out There might be a bug's eye view of a forest of bamboo.  In Bending Light, a comet trails its tail through a thicket.  Cross Currents, another woodland scene, is as if lashed by a rainbow colored storm.  In all these works, the viewer confronts a screen of marks.  They dart, dance and swirl in opposing rhythms, directed seemingly by a play of ever changing fields of force."

Alice Thorson in The New Art Examiner (magazine), June 1990

"Worlds in Collision. In Josephine Haden's new paintings . . . the artist turns a magnifying glass on the countless random connections and unseen magnetic forces beneath the surface order of the universe.  Strong vertical and arching lines or repeated, short horizontal or diagonal lines energize her canvases.  In Choices (1988), for example, thin reed-like strokes of royal blue, turquoise, white and pink madly intersect to create a dense thicket, out of which two flower and grass covered paths diverge . . . As Haden says, these are places . . . that don't exist.  Yet they seem unquestionably familiar, like the shards of yellow that stream through the shadowy recesses of the forest in bending light (1988), welcoming our eyes to this secluded retreat . . . While Haden's glades glow with a denser less frenetic energy, the confusion of what is foreground and what is background persists.  These paintings stand on the threshold of entropy, a place where disorder is neither threatening nor disarming, but instead, a thing of beauty."

Sarah Grusin in Museum & Arts Washington (magazine), March/April 1990

"Josephine Haden is a painter intent on rebuilding.  She constructs imaginary landscapes from countless slender brush strokes of pure color.  Like teeming vortexes, her images draw the viewer into dense worlds of form and color and contort our perceptions of scale and distance . . . What is initially seen in the far distance jumps forward to the surface plane.  What, at first, seems merely a curved brightly colored brush stroke takes on tremendous speed and whips the imagination from the depths of a Wishing Well to the sky reflected on its surface, or into the back of a Dragonfly's Eye . . . Her mysterious thickets and bottomless pools of water are reminiscent of nowhere in particular.  Rather, they recall the archetypal forests and magical wishing wells embedded deep within our psyches.  If you look long and hard enough at Haden's work, you'll swear you can smell the mossy richness at their core."

Florence Gilbard in the Catalog of the 21e Festival International de la Peinture, at the 
Grimaldi Ch‚teau-Musťe, Haut-de-Cagnes, France, March 1989

"Her current show . . . takes us over the rainbow to a land of large, colorful, rapturous abstractions filled with references to rolling hills and mountain peaks.  Simple hieroglyphic strokes of pure pigment laid over the landscape contribute an animated splintering effect, evoking the course of wind and sun through alpine valleys."

Alice Thorson in The Washington Times, March 17, 1988

"There is a great deal of energy here, confident brush stroke and use of paint and much openness to experimentation and possibility . . . Haden is walking that difficult line between abstraction and representation, and, like Anselm Kiefer, trying that out on the landscape."

Pamela Kessler in The Washington Post, March 11, 1988

"Definitely a feel-good exhibition, this collection possesses the gallery space.  The viewer is engulfed by the myriad of colors and surges of energy that emanate from Haden's Colors."

Laura King in The Journal, March 18, 1988

"Haden's works are marked by a profusion of color and an energetic style of painting.  Her brushstrokes often form patterns on the surface of the painting, while the markers contribute to the general sense of action . . . These paintings challenge the viewer to find an answer to the question the artist is posing; they tread a finer line between the abstract and representation."

Kelly Eigler in The Washington Art Reporter, April 1988

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