Josh Foley, (B. 1983) holds a Bachelor of Contemporary Art (Hons) from the University of Tasmania. He has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and has received prestigious awards, grants and residencies. His work is held in many public and private collections throughout Australia, notably, in the collection of the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery.
In 2011 Josh won The John Glover Prize which is the richest landscape prize in Australia. Anthony Bond OAM, speaking in 2011, then Curator of International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and head judge of the Glover prize 2011, said of Josh’s work; it’s “…talking about the whole history of the conventions of western painting.”
Recent residencies include, Bundanon, Illaroo, New South Wales (2016); Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France (2015). Recent commissions include, Tasmanian Government Artsite Scheme, Taroona High School, Taroona (2016); Tasmanian Government Artsite Scheme, Latrobe Primary School, Latrobe (2016).
Recent solo exhibitions include The Disrupted Gaze at Despard Gallery, Hobart (2017); Blue Lines at MOP Projects: Hosted by Galerie pompom, Sydney (2015); Parametric Painting Institute at Gallerysmith Project Space, North Melbourne (2015); Transference at Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport (2014); Caffeine as part of PAINTFACE Curated by Polly Dance at Constance ARI, Hobart (2014); The Parataxic Sublime at Kings ARI, Melbourne (2013).
Recent group exhibitions include Seven, Curated by Paul Eggins, part of MONA FOMA at Sawtooth Gallery, Launceston (2018); Despard Gallery at Sydney Contemporary, Sydney (2017); The Black Swan Prize: Finalist Exhibition, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (2016); The John Leslie Prize: Finalist Exhibition, Gippsland Art Gallery, Gippsland (2016); Museum of Doubt, Curated By Dr Peter Hill at Despard Gallery, Hobart (2016); Exhaust, Curated By Erin Sickler, part of MONA FOMA at Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart (2016).
“Josh Foley, contrarily, presents a tempest of paint; an apparently orgiastic riot of colour-lust that is, at once, the most profoundly articulate and meticulously realised painting of all. His work, Trophy Landscape, seeks to both destroy and reaffirm the landscape tradition. Foley, put simply, paints paint. He paints the glutinous, wanton, oozing lasciviousness of paint; in doing so he both decries the excess of Western culture and falls to his knees to pray to its Gods.” Simon Gregg, Curator Gippsland Art Gallery, 2016.
“Foley allows paint to become neurotic and a bit debauched like gremlins tampering with a machine.” Megan Walch, Artist, 2014.
“…Fresh in skill and technique, a work that rewards contemplation.” Malcolm Bywaters, William Mora & Vivienne Hale, Judges of Eskleigh Award, 2014.
“…It really stood out to me with the methods used, the way it looked very textural, but was actually flat, this shows a highly accomplished painter.” Kerrie Lester, Artist & Chief judge, TasART award, 2013.
“…an impressive journey into painting research.” Stephan Balleux, Artist (Belgium) 2013.
“As one of the judges for the 2011 Glover Prize, I was struck by the originality and technical facility of Foley’s entry Gee’s lookout. This was an outstanding work amongst some significant competition from some important Australian artists. Images of his other recent work have shown me that the painting represents a consistently high standard of practice and that Foley is a gifted and intelligent painter…” Francis Parker, curator MUMA, 2013.
“…The small frissons occurring over the selection of Josh Foley’s 2011 winner, Gee’s Lookout (public obsession over Foley’s palette and gestural form over-riding his almost-impeccable use of picturesque principles)…” Dr Deb Malor, 2012.
“I’m interested in your image. It has a healthy ‘grotesque’ quality.” Raymond Arnold, Artist, 2012.
“…fascinating paintings.” Martin Browne, Gallery Director, 2012.
“Josh Foley’s work stands out as being unlike any of the other works in this year’s prize. It investigates how paint behaves and how the viewer reads it. Gee’s Lookout is an internalised interpretation of a real urban site. Foley has depicted tangled masses of brush marks that appear to be three-dimensional, occasionally breaking into thick texture and thereby combining illusion with reality. His carefully simulated brush strokes represent the landscape but also parody the application of paint. The work questions the acts of looking out and looking in, with a view that imagines a dissolved boundary between the viewing body and the landscape as subject.” 2011 Glover Prize judges, Anthony Bond OAM, then, Head Curator of Western art, Gallery of NSW, along with Professor Marie Sierra, then, Head of UTAS School of Visual and Performing Arts, Inveresk, and Francis Parker, then, Curator of Contemporary Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery/ Gallery of Modern Art, commenting on Foley’s 2011 Glover Prize winning work.
“…it’s talking about the whole history of the conventions of western painting. It’s the work that most investigates what painting is – what painting the landscape could be.” Anthony Bond OAM, 2011.
“…Josh Foley maintains a lively dialogue between palette and landscape…” Fernando Do Campo, Artist & Writer, 2010.