photo: P Gately Tillman 2010

Joan Waltemath is an artist whose work is rooted in the cross-disciplinary exchange that began in 1970s downtown New York, her practice continues to engage dialogically with other media and disciplines. Her current project, the construction of the Joan Waltemath Foundation in Hooper Nebraska, for example, aims to make visible a symbiotic relationship between art and Architecture.

Waltemath’s paintings emerge as a response to materials, visions, architectures, and historical contexts. Her series of eight large-scale paintings, The Treaty of 1868: an epic (2009-2018) takes as its subject her relationship to the genocide unleashed upon the Plains Indian tribes in the aftermath of the Fort Laramie treaty in 1868. Working on grounds of multiple sewn canvas panels, Waltemath’s paintings reflect the fractured and multi-perspectival nature of a history that continues to unfold. She won the prestigious Helen Frankenthaler award for innovation and experimentation in Painting from the Foundation for Contemporary Art in 2022, as well as the Jacob Lawrence Award for outstanding achievement in Visual Arts from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2018 for this work.

Other awards include a Creative Capital Award for Treaty of 1868 project (2012); and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2008). She participated in residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (2017); Art Farm, Marquette, NE (2023, 2014-2016, 2011, 2009, 2023); the Jentel Foundation, Banner, WY (2008, 2005); and The Edward F. Albee Foundation, Montauk, NY (2006, 2003).

Her recent solo exhibitions include “Apparatus”, curated by AV Ryan at Five Myles Gallery, NY in 2020, “relational ambiance” with the Magdalena Keck Gallery, NY in 2019, One does not negate the other, Peter Hionas Gallery, New York, NY in 2015; Torso/Roots, Galerie von Bartha, Basel, Switzerland in 2007; The invisible web of Iktomie iyokipi, Newspace, Los Angeles, CA in 2002; and Joan Waltemath, The Drawing Center, NY in 1998. Her work was also presented in the group exhibition Géricault to Rockburne: Selections from the Michael and Juliet Rubenstein Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2020.

Her work is in the collections of Harvard University Art Museums, MA, Yale University Art Gallery, CT, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, the Hood Museum, Dartmouth, NH, the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Univ. of N. Carolina, the San Diego Museum of Art, CA, the Seattle Art Museum, WA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, AZ, the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin , TX, the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, the Portland Art Museum, OR, the Stiftung Konzeptuelle Kunst, Germany, the Fondation Leschot, Bern, Switzerland and the Muse de Beaux Arts, La chaux de Fonds, Switzerland among others.

She served as director of the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art from 2010 until 2023. Currently a member of the editorial collective for PUBLIC Journal, Canada and editor-at-large of The Brooklyn Rail, NY, she continues to write about art.