AboutTungsten Gallery presents In Between Days, a solo show featuring artist Joshua Mitchell’s small-scale reductive paintings. These works appear, at first glance, to be simple exercises in geometric abstraction; however, on closer inspection they reveal subtle shifts of spatial relationships and unexpected surprises. These maneuvers achieve a sometimes whimsical and sometimes serious probing of how confident we can be in what we assume to know.
In Mitchell’s paintings less is more, and little is used to great effect. A line may become a plane before mutating back into a line, sometimes beyond the edge of the canvas. A shape may appear to lift away from the surface, revealing a hint of something else underneath. Flat opaque areas of color, the results of multiple applications of thin layers of acrylic paint, do little to conceal the weave of the support. Joshua uses these formal aspects of the work to reference the mundane and to create a certain ambiguity. To further emphasize the pedestrian, the artist chooses to work with only standard-sized, pre-stretched canvases, the type that are typically marketed to the Sunday painter. This choice when deftly combined with Mitchell’s vocabulary forms a deceptive underlying suggestion that "anyone can do this
While the paintings featured in In Between Days read as casual they are also highly effective in their implication of an idea and point of view. Their greater truth, however, never assumes a solid form. Instead, this work succeeds by at first teasing us for thinking that the world fits comfortably into our personal paradigms, before generously reminding us that it is a stranger and more uncertain place than we often imagine