top of page

Joel Longenecker

"My paintings are like landscapes, slowly forming and evolving over time. They are built up, layer by layer, much like the earth’s strata, with thick, clay-like oil paint. Each layer

consumes and buries the preceding one, revealing small bits and traces of what lies beneath. Once the top layer (the earth’s crust), is partially dry, I scrape through the

surface like a glacier cuts through stone, sculpting the painted “earth” into its final form.

I am interested in how the painting process – applying, drying, scraping and reapplying – parallels the natural processes of growth and decay, buildup and erosion, creation and destruction. I work until a specificity of light, space, and color emerges and the painted space becomes as real and as specific as the physical, real world.

As each painting develops, forms come and go. A horizon line may emerge (then disappear again), and the painted light may change from the softness of twilight to the

sharpness of high noon. In an enthralling struggle to create structure and clarity out of change and chaos, I work until the paint falls into its destined place. Ultimately, what I

want is for my paintings to look like they have created themselves.

My process is a bit Darwinian. Form, shape color and structure evolve over time into something completely different. A kind of “natural selection” takes root, and a chain

reaction gets started where one thing impacts the next thing like a line of falling dominoes. The tension and energy that results from this process is what animates and

drives the work forward.

I never start with a plan and don’t know what direction a particular painting is headed. Painting for me is like walking in a forest without a map and never reaching the edges. Each painting is like a small section of a long scroll, where the beginning and the end are rolled up and you can only see the small area that’s revealed between the two.

Ultimately, what I am after is a kind of transcendence. When the physical properties of pigment and oil melt away and become something else: fields, wood, stone, moss. My

aim is to push paint to new limits, past descriptive mandates, in pursuit of Nature itself. I work until the paint becomes its own corporeal subject. The drama of that experience

is my true subject." 


1988 M.F.A., Painting, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

1988 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME

1985 B.F.A., Painting, Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, PA


2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts

2017 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant


2018 Joel Longenecker, Recent Work, John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY

2016 Painting, John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY

2007 Joel Longenecker, Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY

2004 Joel Longenecker, Collaborative Concepts, Beacon, NY

2003 Joel Longenecker, N3 Project Space, Brooklyn, NY

2001 Joel Longenecker, Farrell/Pollock Fine Arts, Brooklyn, NY


2021 The Magic Garden, Labspace, Hilldsale, NY

2019 Material World, (juried by Julie Torres), Woodstock Artists Association, Woodstock, NY

2018 Dynamic Entities, (curated by Ellen Wineberg and Cathleen Daley), Room 83 Spring, Watertown, MA

with David Buckley Borden and Rebecca Hutchinson

2018 True North, (curated by Julie Torres), LABspace, Hillsdale, NY

2018 The Nature Lab, (curated by Eric Wolf), LABsapce, Hillsdale, NY

2017 Taconic North, (curated by Julie Torres and Susan Jennings) LABspace, Hillsdale, NY

2014 The Indexical Mark, (curated by Michael David), Life On Mars Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, with Karin Davie,

Ben LaRocco, Mike Olin, Fran O’Neil, Ben Pritchard, Susan Rothenberg, Karen Schwartz,

Whitney Wood-Bailey and Etty Taniv

2012 Rockslide Sky (curated by Carleen Sheehan), The Center Gallery and the Lippani Gallery, Fordham University,

New York, NY, with Justin Berry, Mary Carlson, Marsha Cottrell, Steve DiBenedtto, Franklin Evans,

Janet Gillespie, Jared Handelsman, Michelle Kloehn, Katerina Lanfranco, Tom McGrath, Laura Newman,

Morgan O'Hara, Ann Pibal, Marcy Rosenblat and Jackie Saccoccio

2011 Victory For Tyler 2011: Works on Paper and Posters (curated by Robert Storr),

Crane Arts Building, Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia, PA

2010 Itʼs a Wonderful Tenth, Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY

2008 Shape Shifters: New York Painters, (curated by James Biederman), The A. D. Gallery,

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, NC and Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY, with Bill Jensen,

Chris Martin, Dorthea Rockburn and Margrit Lewczuk

2008 Ways of Seeing (curated by Rebecca Shea), The Lobby Gallery at 499 Park Avenue, New York, NY

with Mary Heilman, James Biederman, Ryann McGinnes and Albelardo Morell

2006 Process and Promise, Milton J. Weill Art Gallery at the 92nd Street Y, New York, NY

2004 Pierogi: The Flat Files, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

2004 Pierogi: The Flat Files, University Art Museum, University at Albany, Albany, NY

2004 100 x 100, Collaborative Concepts, Beacon, NY

2003 New York, New Work, Now!, The Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH

2003 Pierogi: The Flat Files, The University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME

2002 Peripheral Vision (curated by Richard Bruce), Collaborative Concepts, Beacon, NY

2002 Strong Painting, Germaine Keller Gallery, Garrison, NY

2002 The N3 Summer Abstract Painting Exhibition, N3 Project Space, Brooklyn, NY

2002 Pierogi, The International Armory Show, Hudson River Piers, New York, NY

2001 The Pierogi Flat Files, Block Artspace, Kansas City, Missouri

2001 Independent Study: Work by Mount Holyoke College Art Majors and their Faculty,

First Street Gallery, New York, NY

2000 Multiple Sensations, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2000 Haulinʼ Ass, Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1999 Thirty-Sixth Juried Exhibition, The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

1999 Natural Abstraction, N3 Project Space, Brooklyn, NY

1999 Pierogi, The Flat files, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1999 Summer Exhibition, The Painting Center, New York, NY

1998 A Skowhegan Decade; Alumni Exhibition, David Beitzel Gallery, New York, NY

1998 Pierogi 2000, New York: The Flat files, Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria

1998 The Flat files, Vassar College, Pougkeepsie, NY

1998 Pierogi Goes to College, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

1997 Art On Paper, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC

1997 The Processed Image, 450 Broadway Gallery, New York, NY

1997 Current Undercurrent: Working in Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY

1997 New York Drawers, The Pierogi 2000 Flat Files, Gasworks, London, England

1997 New York Drawers, The Pierogi 2000 Flat Files, Corner House Gallery, Manchester, England

1997 The Grammercy International Contemporary Art Fair, Grammercy Park Hotel, New York, NY

1996 Third Annual Small Works Invitational, Blue Mountain Gallery, New York, NY

1996 The Exchange Show, 60 Broad Street, New York, NY 1995

1996 Other Rooms, Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, NY

1996 Emerging Artists ʻ95, The Painting Center, New York, NY

1994 Mass Exposure, Tribeca 148 Gallery, New York, NY

1992 Engendered Stories, 494 Gallery, New York, NY

1990 Centro Columbo Exhibition, Columbo-American Galleries, (traveling): Armenia, Cartagena, Cali,

Bogota and Medellin; Colombia, South America


2018, The Nature Lab, exhibition catalog, essays by Neal Overstrom and Patrick Neal, LABspace, Hillsdale NY

2017, Joel Longenecker: Interview with Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy, Gorky’s Granddaughter,

2013, Joel Longenecker: Interview with Valerie Brennan, Painters Table,

2012, Rockslide Sky, exhibition catalog, The Center Gallery and the Lippani Gallery, Fordham University, New York, NY

2008, Shapeshifters, exhibition review, Cathy Nann Quinlan, Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY

2007, Joel Longenecker, Ignorance and Bliss, exhibition catalog, essay by Lilli Wei, Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY

2006, Process and Promise, Art, Education and Community at the 92nd Street Y, exhibition catalog,

Milton J. Weill Art Gallery, The 92nd Street Y, New York, NY

2004, Joel Longenecker at N3 Project Space, exhibition review, Benjamin La Rocca, The Brooklyn Rail

2004, Mudfish, Vol. 13, featured visual artist

2003, American Letters and Commentary, Vol. 12, featured visual artist

1997, American Letters and Commentary, Vol. 5, featured visual artist

Searching For Pointers.jpeg

Searching For Pointers”

72” x 64”

oil and acrylic on wood panel


The Many Miles A Tree Travels.jpeg

“The Many Miles A Tree Travels”

60” x 54"

oil and acrylic on wood panel


Memory Of A Vanished Fence.jpeg

“Memory Of a Vanished Fence”

84” x 96”

oil and acrylic on two wood panels


10. Light Raking.jpeg

“Light Raking”

 84" x 96”

 oil and acrylic on two wood panels


bottom of page