Josh Dihle

Region: Midwest


City / State: Chicago, IL

I make abstract paintings that wear known images like masks. While painting, I separate my subjects’ appearance from their real-world obligations. When I paint plants, for example, they cast implausible shadows and never quite recede into space. The air, water, and landforms in my work are more indebted to Paul Klee than Albrecht Dürer. I move these elements around the canvas as I develop a work’s allover composition. I am looking for queasy arrangements that undermine any obvious pictorial logic, but which nonetheless strike a haphazard balance. By dealing with these abstract visual ideas through banal imagery, I try to un-know recognizable subjects. This forces a new reckoning with images that feeds my visual curiosity and studio inquiry. I love the studio routine, but I don’t trust it. I have found that the plain labor of painting—the marshaling of color, form, and thought— is an irrational behavior that grows unfamiliar and fascinating in its insistence.