Joseph Goldyne

artist artwork
Joseph Goldyne was born in Chicago in 1942. Mary Glunt and Leonard Breger, Junior High and High School art teachers respectively were important influences, but the artist was otherwise self-trained. After receiving degrees in Medicine (M.D. University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, 1968) as well as in the History of Art (Harvard University, 1971), the artist came to prominence on the West Coast in 1973 with his first solo exhibition at the Quay Gallery, San Francisco. This was also the first exhibition in California devoted exclusively to the monoprint. The artist, who had no inclination to proselytize for the medium became fascinated by its potential because it so often had been employed only as a "printed finger painting." He wondered if it could be worked more subtly. Goldyne's eventual efforts revealed that the medium could indeed produce lines and color of extreme delicacy and thus serve as a more flexible vehicle for graphic expression.

The artist's early monoprints juxtaposed passages from old master works as well as from modern examples of which he was fond. The relationships established through his orchestrations were intended to remark on contemporary aesthetics and criticism. Goldyne found that, in terms of the history of ideas, the great contributions of the 20th century had been in the biological and physical sciences. During the 1980s and 90s, the careening from the visual object toward conceptual art and the new art-historical emphasis on contextual matters only strengthened his resolve to probe more deeply into the visual poetry of the passage of paint or print.

Paul Cummings stated that "it is characteristic of Goldyne, in his desire to present [a] severe visual critique in bold visual terms, that the results [must also be] at once beautiful and amusing" (Cummings, Joseph Goldyne, University of Washington Press, 1989, p. 18). Goldyne became one of the artists responsible for the rebirth of interest in the monotype (see Joanne Moser, "Singular Impressions/The Monotype in America", National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C., Smithsonian Institution, Spring 1997).

Most of Joseph Goldyne's works are small in scale, realistic in style and conventional in theme. In the 1990s simple articles of clothing and books on shelves sketched in oil or drawn in color pencil were studied. The subjects were of particular resonance to the artist who titled them metaphorically, but treated them with the reverence of a devoted draughtsman and painter. The physical object in light still commands his principal attention. His expressed concern is to explore what he believes to be the still relevant potential of visual poetry in the passage of paint or print.

Throughout his career, Goldyne has made edition prints, but his attention has been focused on the unique impression as opposed to the production of editions. Thus some of his prints exist in but a few proofs and the editions are principally small in number. An overview of the artist's edition prints was presented in 2001 (Joseph Goldyne, Selected Prints, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, October 6,2001 December 17, 2001). Finally, since 1985, Joseph Goldyne has created a number of livres d artiste, working with printer/designers Andrew Hoyem, Peter Koch and Wesley Tanner among others.