Joe Wardwell’s paintings are a combination of imagery from rock and roll culture and classic landscapes of the American west as seen through the work of Albert Bierstadt. In these interpreted landscapes, Wardwell adds phrases from the lyrics of rock songs implying a relationship to the landscape image. The paintings, generated from many of the loudest and heaviest of music, become strangely quiet and meditative. The font of the text itself is derived from rock concert silkscreen posters and is intended to contrast sharply from the landscape.
Wardwell is from Washington State and received his BFA from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA and his MFA in painting from Boston University, Boston, MA. Wardwell has been the recipient of several Grants and fellowships, most recently the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant (2012). He has exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions throughout the US. The artist has had two solo exhibitions, Look West (2008) and Untied We Stand (2011) at Heskin Contemporary. He is a professor of painting and drawing at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.