Opening Reception:
Thursday, September 9th, 6:00 - 9:00pm

Exhibition Dates:
September 9 - October 9, 2010

(detail of "Untitled", 60" x 48")


Romer Young Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition with San Francisco artist JOSH PODOLL. Podoll presents a new series of expansive, colorful, abstract paintings that express a "vivid awakeness that is more like a lucid dream than a waking perception..." [1]

In an interview with Willoughby Sharp, Joseph Beuys expressed his thoughts on the work of art as an “energy center.” Of his piece Set III, composed of nine equal elements made of layers of felt topped by a rectangular sheet of copper, Beuys said: “They have a relationship to the room that is hard to define. They fill the space. I am not interested in the physical aspect of filling. I want the work to become an energy center." [2] Podoll’s paintings are energy centers – filling space with something beyond their physical presence, filling it with bright vibrations, lines and shapes of force that harmonize and hover both visually and inwardly.

While the paintings are energy centers, each with their own vibration, they simultaneously have the power to quiet. “Total abstraction is a kind of silence.” [3] Podoll, who has been meditating longer than he has been making paintings and sculptures, says that it is hard to imagine arriving at the paintings without meditation. “The eye sees one type of space and then abruptly moves into another type. As the mind tries to read the new space, there is a little gap or break. This is where the meditation comes in." He describes the experience of meditating as one of floating in abstraction. The paintings present the moment where meditative space overlaps with life space, the moment where any distinction between the experience of meditating, the act of painting, and the paintings themselves, collapses and blurs into one. An instant.

Like meditation, Podoll’s radiant abstractions work through their holistic effect. The eye moves at different speeds across the paintings, but fast painterly gestures, light blurred airbrush spots, masked hard lines, finite forms, and colors cohere to create an irreducible unity that resists the attempt to differentiate it. To appreciate Podoll’s paintings for their formal beauty and visual vibration is one experience. To release the need for definition and categorization, surrendering oneself to the unity of the whole, is another. The latter is an experience where one might discover that the paintings are active instruments of thought: mantras, silently humming. Energy centers which, when embraced, leave the mind silent, formless, and in a state of vivid awakeness.

Josh Podoll received his MFA from the University of Iowa in 2002, and his BFA from the Maharishi International University. Recent exhibitions include Christopher Grimes Gallery, Los Angeles, and Feature Inc., New York.

1. Josh Podoll. Interview with Hudson, June 2006. Available from:
2. Joseph Beuys. Interview with Willoughby Sharp, ArtForum, December 1969: 40-47. Available from:
3. Kuspit, Donald. “Concerning the Spiritual in Contemporary Art.” The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985. Ed. Maurice Tuchman. New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1999. 313 -325. Print.

For additional information, please contact the gallery at 415.550.7483 or email Romer Young Gallery is a San Francisco based contemporary art gallery committed to showing regional and international emerging and mid-career artists.