Joshua Hagler lived and worked in San Francisco and then Los Angeles for fifteen years before moving to rural New Mexico in 2018 as a grant recipient of the year-long Roswell Artist in Residence Program. He was born at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho in 1979 and is a first-generation college graduate with a visual communications degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Having not attended an art school or received an MFA, Hagler identifies as a working class artist. Self-directed research and travel has underpinned Hagler’s career and is essential to how the artist integrates creative influences with his life experience.
While most of his early work responded directly to a difficult past within a variety of religious groups and their unspoken implications for the artist and his family, the later work has sought to understand religion in a deeper way. To Hagler’s mind, one finds the seeds of religion in every facet of culture, even, and, sometimes especially, among the so-called secular realms. Religion, for Hagler, is not approached in the pejorative but in a state of acceptance that perhaps it’s through the religious structures inherent in our shared languages and cultures that we access what makes us most human, for better and for worse.
The artist’s 2019 solo exhibition at Unit London, “Chimera,” presented a body of new paintings that attempt to dig beneath various forms of loud political language, including censorship, for clues on how the ubiquity of groupthink informs populist world views on both ends of the spectrum. The artist, in practice, hopes to work into the “noise” to exhume something both Personal and Other in the physical manner in which the work is made.
2018 saw two museum shows at the Brand Library and Art Center in Los Angeles and the Roswell Museum and Art Center in New Mexico entitled “The River Lethe” and “Love Letters to the Poorly Regarded” respectively. He has exhibited paintings, sculpture, video, and animation in galleries and museums in North and South America, Europe, and Australia including a long list of solo exhibitions. Reviews and features about the work, as well as his own poems and essays, have appeared in a variety of publications and media outlets in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
Joshua Hagler currently lives and works in Roswell, New Mexico as a 2018 grant recipient from the Roswell Artist in Residence Program.
2019 Chimera, Unit London, UK;
2018 Love Letters to the Poorly Regarded, Roswell Museum & Art Center, New Mexico;
2018 The River Lethe, Brand Library & Art Center, Los Angeles;
2017 In the House is a Room into which Every River Empties, Nicole Longnecker Gallery, Houston;
2017 Missouri Parallels, Galleri Oxholm, Copenhagen;
2016 The Adopted, JAUS Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (traveling);
2015 The Adopted, Brandstater Gallery at La Sierra University, Riverside, CA (traveling);
2014 My Name is Nobody, Avis Frank Gallery, Houston;
2014 Romancing The West, Gallerie Oxholm, Copenhagen;
2013 The Unsurrendered, Figure One Gallery at University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, IL;
2012 In The Box Beneath The City, Alter Space, San Francisco;
2012 The Imagined Chase, Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern, San Francisco;
2011 Perceptions of Religious Imagery in Natural Phenomena, 101/Exhibit, Miami (traveling);
2011 Perceptions of Religious Imagery in Natural Phenomena, Carlo V Castle, Lecce, IT (traveling);
2009 72 Virgins to Die For, Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern, San Francisco;
2007 Bring Us Rapture, Mina Dresden Gallery, San Francisco.
2019 From a Corner the Sound of a Small Bird, with Maja Ruznic, Big Pictures, Los Angeles, CA;
2014 Among The Missing, with Maja Ruznic, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, CA;
2011 Vessel Traces, with Joseph Cohen, San Giovanni di Dio Church, Lecce, Italy;
2010 Joshua Hagler and Mayumi Ishino, Babel Visningsrom for Kunst, Trondheim, Norway;
2010 Nearly Approaching Never to Pass, with George Pfau, Reaves Gallery, New York, NY.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Gardens, Last Projects, Los Angeles, CA;
Paradise Lost, Patrick Painter, Inc. Los Angeles, CA;
With Liberty and Justice for Some, Children’s Museum of the Arts, NY;
Dreams and Fevers, Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA;
Looking for U, Unit London, UK;
West Reading Museum of Temporary Art, city-wide miniature mural project, West Reading, PA;
Two Sides of the Coin, Gallerie Gruelich, Frankfurt, DE;
Soul Case, Durden & Ray Gallery, Los Angeles, CA;
Trust Fall, Gallery ALSO, Los Angeles, CA;
The Encrypted Form, Stoerpunkt, Munich, DE;
Figurative Futures, 101/Exhibit, Los Angeles, CA;
With Liberty and Justice for Some, Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco; Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley (traveling);
Unknown Soldier, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA;
Over The Hills, Hometown Gallery, Brooklyn, NY;
Hysterical Fiction, La Estacion Arte Contemporaneo, Chihuahua, Mexico;
Werewolf, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA;
Sincerely Yours, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA;
Angels with Dirty Faces, Galleri Ernst Hilger, Vienna, Austria;
Tallahassee International, Florida State University Museum of Art, Tallahassee, FL
52nd Annual Juried Exhibition, Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA;
Exquisite Corpse, MASS Gallery, Austin, TX;
Draftpunk 2.0, Mid-Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan;
Transreal Topologies, Royal Institute, Adelaide, Australia;
What the Mouth Sees, Alter Space, San Francisco, CA;
Optic Nerve, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL;
I am Solitary I am an Army, Surface Gallery, Nottingham, UK;
Black Lab, The Lab, San Francisco, CA;
Echo, Frey Norris Gallery, San Francisco, CA;
Close Calls, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausolito, CA;
Your Gallery, in association with The Saatchi Gallery, The Guardian, London, UK;
Contemporary Perspectives, MoCA at the Luther Burbank Center, Santa Rosa, CA.
AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES
2019 1606 Project, Art House Holland, five-week residency, Leiden, NL (forthcoming);
2018 Roswell Artist in Residence Program, grant awarded, one year, Roswell, NM;
2017 Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists, MICA, two months, Léhon, FR;
2016 Dave Bown Projects, Award of Excellence, presented by Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator, New Museum, New York;
2015 Juror’s Circle Prize, Sandra Firmin, Chief Curator, Colorado University Art Museum;
2015 Studio System Art Residency, Torrance Art Museum, one month, Torrance, CA;
2013 In Residence at University of Illinois School of Art and Design, one week, Champaign, IL;
2011 Martignano International Residency for Artists, six months, Martignano, Italy;
2010 Lademoen Kunstnerverksteder, artist in residence, one month, Trondheim, Norway;
2009 Best of the Bay Area 2009, San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco, CA;
2007 Finalist -- Headlands Center for the Arts Tournesol Award, Sausolito, CA;
2007 Xeric Foundation Grant, Boston, MA.