Born in the United States in 1976, Joshua Abelow grew up in Frederick, Maryland, looking at the abstract paintings that his grandmother, who is also an artist, used to make. Expressing his own talent and artistic tendencies, Abelow received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. It was during the college years that one of his professors had noticed his skill with color and while Abelow thought of it more as an insult of a sort at that point, he truly was â and still is â a master of the element. His work during this time was in the realm of intuition and natural reaction to the colors themselves and it took a different direction once he started to work for Ross Bleckner.
Having been introduced to the work of Bleckner within the library of School of Design, his move to New York in 1999 was followed by a big change in how he sees the painting creation process. Applying a more thought-out, systematic approach to painting, Abelow started seeing it as a scientific procedure in a way, and though it may not be as fun and spontaneous, it produces a more striking result. Marking the color codes on the back of the work, Joshua Abelow would sometimes even note the steps that he took in order to reach the final moment of the painting, giving the viewers yet another artwork within the same piece.
Often painting on burlap, Abelow received comments in the past regarding the look of his works compared between seeing them within gallery walls and as images on the screen. The material offers a certain roughness, even a dimensionality as the painting can be felt when viewed in person rather than being seen on screen which flattens the look and makes it lose that feeling of space. Although Abelow likes that these two differentiate, Joshua Abelow is fully aware of the necessity for âexisting onlineâ as a means of participating in the contemporary art scene.