"I see the collections of shapes and layers of paint as a form of mapping as I too attempt to secure my place in the human geography." - Joseph Ostraff
Joseph Ostraff's paintings evoke the varied shapes and motifs of human activity and geography. Using subtle color gradations and rich patterning, Ostraff creates works with startling compositional depth. While choices found in these paintings suggest a personal sense of value, more generally these decisions reflect the processes people use to make sense of the commonplace. His work is a visual documentation of the things that convert spaces into places.
A three-time recipient of the prestigious Fellowship Award from the Utah Arts Council, last year Joseph Ostraff was also voted one of Utah's 15 most influential artists by a panel of his peers. Ostraff was born in Santa Monica, California in 1957, later earning an MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1984, and is now a professor at Brigham Young University. The collaborative efforts he's organized have involved hundreds of artists around the globe and have culminated in more than 30 exhibitions both domestically and abroad.
Joseph Ostraff's paintings, book arts, and films have shown nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions in museums, universities, and institutions, among them: The Peace Factory, Tel Aviv, Israel; the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Museum of Art, Ballycastle, Co Mayo, IRE; Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University Library, Yale University, CT; Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences, Loveladies, NJ; Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT; Site: Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY; The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, NJ; NorthArt Center, Northcote, Auckland, NZ; The Leonardo, Salt Lake City, UT; Galerie du Centre, Paris, France; Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum, Adams, MA; Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, UT; Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA; Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MA; Limerick School of Art & Design, Limerick, Ireland; Harry Wood Gallery, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; Art Space Chester, Chester University, UK; Ballinglen Arts Foundation Art Gallery, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland; The Peoria Art Guild, Peoria, IL; Jacksonville Center for the Arts, Floyd, VA; University of Hawaii, Visual Art Department, Commons Gallery, Hilo, HI; Granary Art Center, Ephraim, UT; Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM; University of Central Lancashire, UK; NAU Art Museum, Flagstaff, AZ; Wirral Met Gallery, Birkenhead, England; Minneapolis Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN; Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA; South Shore Art Center, Cohasset, MA; Williamson Art Gallery Birkenhead, Wirral Metropolitan College, UK; Spectrum Project Space at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia; and the Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.