Watching the light blaze, fade, and blaze again

Joe Byrne, associate professor of fine arts

Joe ByrneJoe Byrne received a B.A. from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has had three one-person exhibitions at First Street Gallery in New York City and is represented by Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work is featured in The Artist as Native: Reinventing Regionalism, published in 1993 by Pomegranate Art Books. He has been the recipient of two MacDowell Colony Fellowships and in 1994 and 1995 he was nominated for the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Art.

"For the past six years I have worked on a series of paintings based on studies done on site in the sacro bosco (sacred woods) located in central Italy, particularly in the province of Umbria. Typically, these woods are located on the tops of mountains and have been set aside for religious worship and contemplation since pre-Roman times. To this day, they continue to be special places that are protected by the state and local governments.

"Although I work from watercolors and drawings produced on site, my aim in these paintings is not to provide a literal translation of the woods. Any landscape painting is a fiction, one which has its roots in geography but which nonetheless represents a translation of that geography into an intellectual and emotional construct. In these paintings, I am not interested in reproducing the woods in a realistic fashion. Rather, it is my intention to create images whose physical and conceptual properties as paintings will suggest the experience of being in the woods, hearing the sounds, feeling the atmosphere, and watching the light blaze, fade, and blaze again."


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atching the light blaze, fade, and blaze again

Joe Byrne, associate professor of fine arts