Joe Coleman, ‘Untitled (We Experiment For You)’, Circa 1980s, Doyle
Joe Coleman, ‘Untitled (We Experiment For You)’, Circa 1980s, Doyle

Coming to prominence in the East Village during the 1980s, Joe Coleman stood in stark contrast to the post-Pop, Neo-Geo and re-appropriation art of the day, making him an outsider within a scene of outsiders. In addition, Coleman’s seminal performance pieces were equally confrontational and intense, starring Joe as equal parts carnival barker and mad scientist. Perhaps most notable was Coleman’s incendiary performance at The Kitchen in 1981, which overwhelmed the attendees, many of whom quickly fled from their seats. Coleman’s work largely exists on its own plane, in that it defies easy inclusion into the Contemporary Art movements of his day -- eschewing Conceptualism and instead showing a reverence for such artists as James Ensor and Otto Dix. Completely divorced from the current ideology of artist-as-brandColeman paints in quiet solitude, employing techniques and practices much more in common with Old Masters, like his hero, Hieronymus Bosch. Coincidentally, Coleman’s work was shown alongside Bosch at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 2001. A brilliant draftsman, Coleman references Outsider Art and Underground Comix in this work, as he has done throughout his career, always exploring the esoteric in an anthropological sense.

Framed. Dimensions of Frame: 12.5 x 18.25 x 1.125"

The Collection of Joachim Neugroschel

About Joe Coleman

Fair History on Artsy

Jeffrey Deitch at The Armory Show 2017