Joseph McGurl: Weekend With the Masters Instructor
|Light at Sunset by Joseph McGurl, oil painting, 24 x 36.
Joseph McGurl has been referred to as one of the
acknowledged leaders in the current American landscape painting arena. This has been
confirmed by his exhibitions in several important museum shows, a successful
relationship with some of the country's leading galleries, and inclusion in
numerous magazine articles and books.
McGurl was born in Massachusetts in 1958. He grew up working
with his father, James McGurl, who was a muralist and his most influential
teacher. He graduated from Massachusetts College of Art with a dual major in
painting and education and also studied in England and Italy. In search of a
more solid training in drawing, he sought out Robert Cormier, a devotee of the
French Academy methods, and studied figure drawing under him. After college,
McGurl worked as a yacht captain, sailing throughout the East Coast from Maine
to the Caribbean.
The artist’s paintings are often seen in relationship to the
great 19th-century Luminist painters but with a thoroughly modern approach to
style and subject. For him, the process, rather than the product, is the most
important part of a painting. For this reason, his large studio paintings are
developed from sketches painted on location. Rather than relying on
photography, this method gives him the freedom to create paintings based on his
imagination, memory, and his sketches. Although the objects depicted in the
paintings are elements of the landscape and have a deep personal meaning to
him, an equally important subject is an exploration of light, form, space, and
color interpreted through paint.
McGurl's paintings have been included in several museum
exhibitions in Massachusetts, New York, California, and Rhode Island. He had
retrospective solo shows at the Cape Museum of Art, The Cahoon Museum of
American Art, and the Saint Botolph Club of Boston, and he has participated in
many traveling exhibitions and shows. McGurl has been elected to the Guild of
Boston Artists and is a Copley Master with the Copley Society of Boston. He has
won top awards from both organizations including the John Singleton Copley
Award for Artistic Achievement. In addition, he is an elected Fellow of the
American Society of Marine Artists and a member of the St. Botolph Club of
Boston. He has also been the subject of numerous book and magazine articles. He
is represented by Hammer Galleries, in New York City;Tree’s Place Gallery, in
Orleans, Massachusetts; John Pence Gallery, in San Francisco; and The Guild of
Boston Artists, in Boston.
During the summer months he cruises the coast
of New England with his wife and children aboard their classic Alden designed
ketch, "Atelier," which he uses as a floating studio; many of his
sketches are executed from her decks. After living for several years in Rhode
Island, Joseph, his wife Patricia, and sons Max and Sean moved to Cape Cod in
1994. Their home and studio is a restored 19th-century carriage house on the
shore of Amrita Island. For more information on McGurl, visit his website.
Return to the Weekend With the Masters Meet & Greet.