Joyce Kozloff

Uncivil Wars
November 11, 2023   -   December 10, 2023

Born in Somerville, New Jersey in 1942, with a BFA from Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA and an MFA from Columbia University, Kozloff was a major figure in both the Pattern and Decoration and the Feminist art movements of the 1970s. In 1979, she began to focus on public art, increasing the scale of her installations and expanding the accessibility of her art to reach a wider audience. Since the early 1990s, Kozloff has utilized mapping as a device for consolidating her enduring interests in history, culture, and the decorative and popular arts. 

Most recently, Kozloff’s work has been included in several national and international museum exhibitions: With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2019-2020); Less is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design, Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2019); Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise, Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Vienna, Austria, and Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary (2018-2019); Pattern, Decoration & Crime, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland, and Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2018-2019).

In China is Near, Kozloff explored the China accessible to her, visiting the Chinatowns of Mott Street, Manhattan; Main Street, Flushing, Queens; 8th Street, Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Webster Street, Oakland; and Grant Avenue, San Francisco – all destinations on the twenty-first century Silk Route. Her photographs convey the experience of these locations, capturing the sensory overload triggered by the surfeit of kitsch – gaudy trinkets, cheap apparel, and glittering electronics. Reveling in the ways this visual clutter rhymed with her own layered, dense aesthetic, Kozloff paired these images with collages incorporating drawings of old maps, imagery from the internet, and Chinese characters and motifs. The resulting series, published as a book by Charta Books, presents a rich, immersive, unconventional chronicle of China, not a travelogue of a country visited, but of one traversed nonetheless.

In March 2012, Kozloff’s JEEZ was exhibited at the main entrance to The Armory Show Modern. JEEZ is a twelve by twelve-foot painting in thirty-six panels based on the Ebstorf map, a 13th-century mappa mundi of the same size painted on thirty sewn goatskins. In her response to this historic work, Kozloff drew upon a wide range of her artistic practices, incorporating her interest in cartography, decoration, history, material culture, and politics. As a secular person, she was particularly motivated by the ongoing evangelical rhetoric of some candidates in the current U.S. presidential race. JEEZ is her subsequent attempt to grapple with the religious images that pervade Western culture. In her work through the history of art, incorporating everything from Byzantine mosaics to contemporary street art. She culls from sources high and low, from Old Master paintings to everyday kitsch.

Kozloff has served on the Board of Governors of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME) since 1998 and has been a member of the National Academy of Design since 2003. She was on the Department of Art Advisory Board at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) from 1992-1998, the Board of Directors of the College Art Association from 1985-1989, and the Advisory Board of the Public Art Fund from 1984-1986. Kozloff has been represented by D.C. Moore since 1997. This is the artist’s first solo show with Pamela Salisbury Gallery.