Joe Winter

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I try to look past the things calling out for attention. Sometimes the most banal objects can become the most resonant simply because they are so deeply embedded in daily events. So I am drawn to commonplace objects and materials found in the environments where I’ve passed a lot of days: the home, the classroom, the office. I take things firmly attached to their place–a kitchen counter, a chalkboard, a photocopier–and pry them loose. Through idiosyncratic misuse and material transformation, I want to find out how much I can discover about something I thought I already knew.

Artist Statement

Within a sixth month period in 2012, my husband and I got married, adopted a dog, acquired a minivan, and moved into to a new apartment. This sudden immersion in domesticity instigated a series of quandaries both pedestrian and existential. From choosing shelves at the Container Store to imagining a radically queer domestic arrangement, I began to see the home as a complex arrangement of ideas, objects, and materials appointing the space between individuals and society. It is a place where diverse economies of materials and labor intersect, where personal desires compete with cultural conventions. It is a place where the most intimate and individualized moments of our lives are supported by the structures and materials of mass production.

I was attracted to quilting when I considered how often the domestic environment is dominated by the agglomeration of units. Tiles, bricks, floorboards, shingles, wallpaper, all of it pieced together. These units describe our intimate spaces, but the labor of assembly typically precedes us, is rendered anonymous and generic. A handmade quilt, likewise pieced together, is steeped in labor, embedded in the story and identity of its maker. I think my bathroom floor tells a story as intimate as any quilt, and the degree to which that story recedes from view suggests a valuation of labor and disregard for our material environment that bears scrutiny. Every brick of my apartment building was placed by human hands, but that intimate contact feels buried. With the quilts, I want to excavate it.

Home is a cascade of subdivisions that locate and appoint it. Borough, neighborhood, block, building, apartment. Living room, bedroom, kitchen drawer, tupperware. Even the smallest organizational objects within the home–ice cube molds, cutlery drawers–reiterate the ideology of spatial organization, emphasizing the values of efficiency and convenience. Everything in its place.

The frozen meal strikes a particular chord here. The mechanized division of a meal into discrete units–main course, side dish, dessert–echoes the divisions of our apartments, buildings, and blocks. These single serving meals are equally emblematic of individuality and isolation. Drawn to the forms found within them, I cast the these meals in porcelain–a material that also gets cooked–arranging them into compositions with varying degrees of architectural, sculptural, and utilitarian reference. This material transformation connects its humble source to a wider history of domestic material culture. The ceramic vessel is at once functional and decorative, artisanal and utilitarian. The containers I designed to house the cast works reference both appliances and display cases, hovering somewhere between a microwave and a china cabinet. Like the quilts, these Wall Unit straddle the boundary between the mass-produced and the handmade, wresting something idiosyncratically human from the generic consumer products that surround us.

While home organization is predominantly an issue of space, the office and classroom are environments invested in the organization of time. In a previous body of work, I zeroed in on institutional surfaces of display–chalkboard, dry erase board, cork board–and re-imagined their workaday rhythms in relation to the astronomical and geological scales of deep time.

Chalk and slate, the traditional components of the chalkboard, are geological in origin, and the process of quickly dragging one across the other reiterates the erosive forces that have been shaping the planet for eons. In The Stars Below, I engineered a mechanical system to mimic another banal feature of institutional spaces: a water-stained leaky ceiling. In this installation, fluid secretions from the ceiling slowly dissolve pieces of chalk resting atop black slate panels, forming chalk dust compositions that could be strata or stars.

In my dry erase works, I build up layer upon layer of dry erase ink, building a terrain that at feels in turns topographical, astronomical, and stratigraphic. The accumulation of fragile pigment suggests mountains, fjords, and nebulae that could be wiped away in an instant.

In a series of cork board works, I reinscribe the temporal quality of an ever-changing display of documents onto the display materials themselves, selectively fading the cork and colored paper with the ultraviolet rays of the sun. In a related work (Model for a History of Light: Array), I reimagine a series of stacking document trays as astronomical instruments. Hinged to rotate upright and align with the sun, the trays collect light like a solar array. Filtered through plates of glass, the light slowly fade the paper to create pseudo-astronomic images.

These works and others attempt to locate a scientific gaze within the tedium of everyday institutional materials, revealing the rhythms of the natural world in the props often used to study, explain, and organize it. And as much as these works are influenced and inspired by my love of astronomy and geology, they also point to the potentially bureaucratic aspect of scientific enterprise, as though knowing more about the universe will enable us to more effectively manage it.




University of California, San Diego
Master of Fine Arts, Visual Arts, 2006

Brown University, Providence, RI
Bachelor of Arts, New Media Studies, 2003

Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK
Attended, 2002

Honors, Phi Beta Kappa


2015 Joe Winter: Domestic Arrangements. Barbara Walters Gallery, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

2013 Joe Winter: The Basic Stages. Helper, Brooklyn, NY

2012 Joe Winter. National Glass Center. Sunderland, UK.

2011 Joe Winter: The Stars Below. The Kitchen, New York, NY.

2010 Bulletin Board, Center for Curatorial Studies @ Bard College. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.



The Order of Things. NurtureArt, Brooklyn, NY.

Performing Methods: In Context. CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles.


We are All U.F.O.-nauts. Rhubaba Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Light Matters. Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY

Queens International 2012: Three Points Make a Triangle. Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY.


 Tangible Time. NEST, The Hague, Netherlands.

Against The Way Things Go, Gasser & Grunnert Gallery, NY, NY.

Wild Sky. Edith Russ Haus. Oldenburg, Germany.

Deville Cohen, Andrei Koschmieder, Joe Winter. Foxy Production. NY, NY.

Two-Fold. The Suburban. Chicago, IL.


Beam Me Up. Plug.In. Basel, Switzerland.


Marian Spore. Industry City Art Project. Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Michael Connor.

Dome Colony X at the San Gabriels. X-initiative, New York, NY

Buddy List. Space 414. Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Nathan Lee.

Beam Me Up. Online exhibition: Curated by

State of the Art: New York. Urbis Center, Manchester, UK.


Untethered. Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, New York, NY.


Faculty Exhibition, Delaware College of Art and Design. Wilmington, DE.


Supersonic 2006. Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

The Elephant and the Termite. University Art Gallery, UC San Diego. Curated by Rita Gonzoles.

The Dolphins of San Onofre. Compact Space, Los Angeles. Curated by Malik Gaines.


Fresh. Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Curated by Rachel Teagle

Whoever Sees This Will Live Forever. Compact Space, Los Angeles.


Thursday Night Thing. Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

New Forms Festival. Western Front Performance Art Center. Vancouver Curated by Victoria Singh.

Pasale. Estacion Tijuana. Tijuana, Mexico. curated by Pedro Alonzo.

Paradigm, Promiscuity, Proliferation, Perversion. Marcuse Gallery, UC San Diego.


New Forms Festival. Scotia Bank Dance Centre. Vancouver, BC. Curated by Camille Baker and Victoria Singh.


re.sight/re.sound. Edinburgh Central Library. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Radio Radio. 91.1 Resonance FM. London.



Fellowship, MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH Summer


Sculpture Space Residency, Utica, NY, Summer


New York State Council for the Arts, Individual Artist Grant

Fellowship, MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH, Summer

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Swing Space Residency, NY, NY, Winter


Fellowship, MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH, Summer

Artist in Residence, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, New York, NY, Winter/Spring


Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Summer


UC San Diego Department of Visual Art Teaching Assistant Excellence Award

Russel Foundation Grant, UC San Diego



 “Goings on About Town: Queens International 2012.” The New Yorker, March 5th, 2012.

“Artist Profile: Joe Winter”., January 2012.

Coates, Jennifer. “Jennie C. Jones and Joe Winter.” Art in America, January 2012.


Diaz, Eva. “Joe Winter.” Artforum, November 2011.

Duray, Dan. “Dark Matter Cooks at Kitchen Opening.” New York Observer, September 9, 2011.

Winter, Joe. “Objects of Interest.” Catalog essay for Wild Sky exhibition catalog. Hatje Cantz.


Coburn, Tyler. “Collection” Art Review, Issue 40. April, 2010.


Younger Than Jesus Artist Directory. 2009. The New Museum / Phaidon Press.

The Sundown Salon Unfolding Archive. Evil Twin Publications.

Technical Wizardry: Joe Winter. Interview with

Having in vain tried words, resorted to deeds. Artist book with Zerek Kempf. Onestar Press.

“Between Spaces: On X-cult’s Beam-me-up.” Claire Evans, July 2009.


“Untethered,” Lori Cole, Critics Pick., October 2008.



Visiting Artist Lecture, University of Cincinnati, School of Art


Visiting Artist Lecture, Maryland Institute College of Art, Interdisciplinary Sculpture Department


Visiting Artist Lecture, University of Maine, Intermedia Department

Visiting Artist Lecture, Bowdoin College, Visual Arts Department

Visiting Critic, School of Visual Arts, Department of Visual and Critical Studies, Senior Studio

Visiting Artist Lecture, UC Berkeley, Department of Art Practice


Artist Lecture, National Glass Center, Sunderland, UK


Panel Moderator, Time as Material, The Kitchen, NY

Panel Participant, Examining the Value of the MFA, Cue Art Foundation, New York