Josh Meillier


Then again, I’m really kind of just obsessed with materials in general; nothing is too high or low brow to be used as art material.


Josh Meillier (b. 1990, Northfield Minnesota; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) is an MFA candidate of Pratt Institute in painting and sculpture. He has exhibited extensively in both solo and group exhibitions in Connecticut, Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota, New York, and South Carolina. His most recent shows have been Material Poetics, at New Gallery in Brooklyn NY, Lately, at CIRCA Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, and i dont understand this world, at Space369 in St. Paul, MN. Meillier completed his BFA in drawing and painting at Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2013. He is completing his MFA in painting at Pratt Institute in May 2020. He is currently represented by CIRCA Gallery in Minneapolis, MN.


My generation is the last to remember a time before the internet. In my practice I use digital and analog print, the readymade and casts to question access to information, and what is real versus fake. I am interested in quality of information, and the process of sharing it. I use images of no signal, such as television static, and test color screens to reference data and its representation when there isn’t any.

Untitled (residue of the tv) - acrylic, oil, silk screen & xerox print on canvas - 2019

Can you elaborate on the ways in which your work embraces and challenges traditions of


The challenges of the tradition or history of painting are deep, but also rich. There are many painters that have laid the ground work and innovation that makes my practice possible. There are countless amounts of artists that I look at, Aaron Curry, Jessica Stockholder, Christopher Wool, Wade Guyton, Robert Rauschenberg, Phyllida Barlow... I am able to take what they have contributed to the history of painting; I can take their language and reuse it in tandem with others to ask new questions and create meaning. This way of thinking has

impacted how I think about sculpture too, which is relatively new to me. I cannot help myself but to look for historical references in this area as well. Doing this gives me the permission to explore and take risks.

Untitled (caution) - acrylic, oil, spray paint, stickers & xerox transfer on canvas - 2019

Can you tell us more about the formal and conceptual use of building materials?

My interest in building materials stems from a long history of working with them while growing up. I like them as something that is direct, functional, no frills or gimmicks, no nonsense, designed with function over form. Most construction materials are not meant to be seen, or at least seen for what it is. It is a component of something, meant to come together to be something else. Then again, I’m really kind of just obsessed with materials in general; nothing is too high or low brow to be used as art material.

Untitled (fuck the satellite) - acrylic, oil & xerox transfer on canvas - 2019

Your statement discusses a cycle of building a home, then selling it and relocating.

Specifically, how does your relationship to architecture impact the development of your work?

I believe that architecture impacts all of our lives and experiences, sometimes in very direct ways, others are more subtle. Someone once told me that the best architecture improves your life without you ever noticing it. One of the obvious ways it impacts me how I set up set up and work in a studio, how much space do I have, what the lighting like and so on. I am interested in the process of building a structure, and because I have spent time building I am always looking for weird quirks in construction. Spaces to interact with.

Untitled (Indexicality)- acrylic, oil & xerox transfer on canvas - 2020

You operate with really sophisticated and refined color palettes. How do you arrive at these

aesthetic decisions?

Mostly I trust my intuition. There are times that I set rules for myself, limiting how saturated a painting can be, or choosing to restrict the palette to keep myself under control. If I were to completely cut loose my colors would be all over the place.

Untitled - acrylic, xerox print, oil & powdered pigment on panel - 2019

Can you tell us about the layering, erasure, and history present in the work?

For a while now I have been thinking a lot about representations of information, or a lack of information. This started with the Mueller report, how it was in some ways meant to inform people, but it is redacted. So you can only literally read between the lines. Part of this comes through with what you are allowed to see in the work, what is covered or erased.