Joshua Bronaugh is an artist that is originally from many places – he spent some years in Germany, before skipping through American mountains, forests, and salt flats, landing eventually in the south. His paintings, often large in scale, focus the obsessions of memory and emotion, almost always pushing the human figure to the edges of representation and, in some instances, far into abstraction.
In 2006 he studied art in Rome and Florence, Italy, and in 2007 taught art at the Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky State Pedagogical University in Ukraine. During the same stay, he obtained special permission to visit the infamous reactor at Chernobyl’s. This event in some ways reflects moments of his youth- he once lived at in the military installation known as Dugway Proving Grounds, a restricted location designed “to test US and Allied biological and chemical weapon defense systems in a secure and isolated environment.” (US army)
I know from my conversations with Josh that his exposure to these events has taught him the utmost respect for the sublime, and simultaneously for the delicacy and unpredictability of life. I also know Josh feels a special affinity for the people and places of Eastern Europe- he’s been three times to Poland and Ukraine, and a scattering of countries between the Balkans and the Baltics. In 2008, he was invited to lecture Siberia, Russia.
His portraits allow him to focus feelings of longing, and to develop intellectual elaboration. Interaction of color is always at the forefront of his work, and the elements shape and composition have their genesis in motion and peripheral vision. When these principles combine, we are presented with a constant state of vibration and emergence.
In the past year he has been recognized by features in the both the magazine Create Destroy Rebuild, and on Area of Design.
– Mikhail Hrovovsky, Prague, 2008