'Ardent Heart' Opens as Poetic Portraiture

By Shaw, Kurt | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 15, 2007 | Go to article overview

'Ardent Heart' Opens as Poetic Portraiture


Shaw, Kurt, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Up now at moxie DaDA gallery on the North Side, abstract painter Joshua Hogan's solo exhibition "Ardent Heart" is a tour de force of rich texture, sublime color and sheer poetry.

Pittsburgh art cognoscenti are well aware of Hogan and his work. As co-owner of BoxHeart Gallery in Bloomfield, his work is constantly on display there. And among the art crowd, many an artist has come to him and his wife, Nicole Capozzi, to see if they would be open to exhibiting his or her works there.

But ever since Christine Whispell opened moxie DaDA gallery across the street a few years back, it was Whispell and her fellow gallery mates Grant Bobitski and Matt Indovina who wanted to show Hogan's work in their gallery.

The trio has since moved the gallery to the Mexican War Streets section of North Side, almost a year ago, and Hogan couldn't be happier now that his show is up, hung on the raw brick walls of what is believed to be Pittsburgh's oldest extant firehouse, which was built in 1877.

"I've always liked working with those guys," says Hogan, who has produced juried exhibitions with the moxie DaDA group before. "So, when they moved to the North Side, I thought this would be even better. I will have a chance for my work to be exposed to a new audience, and I especially like seeing my work hung on the brick walls."

That last part seems a fitting comment for an artist whose palate tends toward delightful combinations of burnt umber and raw sienna. Having a consistent feel, Hogan's work since he graduated from the art education program at Carlow College in 1996 has moved at a glacier's pace.

But that's certainly all right with him. "Everything feels like it is progressing nicely -- adding a little bit here and there without taking too big of a jump," Hogan says.

That's not to say Hogan isn't a prolific painter. On the contrary, all of the 19 works on display here have been painted within the past six months.

Viewed by the artist as a series, they were somewhat inspired by the novel "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce (1882-1941). The semi-autobiographical work was published in 1916 and chronicles the young life of the fictional character Stephen Dedalus, an obvious stand-in for the author, as he blossoms from university student to full-fledged artist, rebelling against his father's wishes to fulfill his dreams. …

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