Joseph Marioni’s works reveal a preoccupation with fundamental questions about our perception of paint and color in the image and the resulting difficulty of capturing this experience in words. To this extent, it is absolutely essential when considering Marioni’s work to experience his paintings from up close. When viewing his works, it is the painting as a physical object that is initially in the forefront. We are able to discern the way in which the layers of acrylic paints have been applied vertically on the canvas and how this application has left congealed drops of paint on the lower edge of the canvas: the results of an unforeseeable and yet consciously initiated process of painting in which Marioni rolls the paint-soaked roller across the canvas, allowing some of the paint to go its own way. The layers flow over one another and then ultimately join one another in an amplified hue. As luminous skins of paint, the layers distinguish themselves in terms of their various degrees of thickness, with exactly these various degrees of transparency then permitting the beholder to gaze from the surface deep into the painting. It therefore no longer comes as a surprise that the act of direct examination is a condition for such a personal experience of the pictorial presence of paint and color. Marioni is neither concerned to document the physical act of painting nor to expound upon the phenomenon of monochrome painting. Indeed, this painting concentrates on the concrete, ostensive dimension of paint. In the case of Marioni, the image is therefore not simply a place of painting, but a place of perceiving paint and color.
Born in 1943 in Cincinnati (Ohio/USA), Joseph Marioni lives and works in New York.