Joellyn Duesberry is among the most important artists working in Colorado today and is one of the most significant landscape painters in the West.
While many contemporary landscape painters continue to romanticize their subjects and depict a West that once was, Duesberry is drawn to the West that is. She explores a full spectrum of sites and calls attention to places affected human activity.
Waterways, cityscapes, quarries, junkyards, and natural landscapes are all part of Duesberry’s visual language. She suggests ephemeral aspects of these places, such as passage of time, atmosphere, and transitory human presence.
Ms. Duesberry is nationally recognized for her dynamic landscape paintings. Her canvases are remarkable for their rich and intense use of color, and for her distinct interest in the geometry of the various cityscapes and landscapes she interprets. Many of Ms. Duesberry’s paintings, though clearly contemporary, echo such great modernist masters as John Marin and Milton Avery. Her use of light, shadow, scale and texture culminates in paintings that are both visually and emotionally arresting.
Ms. Duesberry divides her time between studios in Denver, Colorado and Millbrook, N.Y., and has painted plein-air around the world for 40 plus years. She began exhibiting in New York City in 1979, and has since had 10 New York solo exhibitions, with recent retrospectives at the Century Association and Denver Art Museum in January 2006, titled “Joellyn Duesberry: Three Decades of Paint.” She has shown widely around the country, and is represented by seven galleries coast to coast.
A pivotal point in Ms. Duesberry’s career came in 1986 when she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant which enabled her to work with Richard Diebenkorn. Diebenkorn encouraged her to try monotype print-making, and since then she has been actively producing and exhibiting her monotypes alongside her plein-air paintings.
“I am fiercely committed to my materials and to an internalized subject, blissful or terrifying, in deepest emotional memory, which I projected long ago onto the setting where first emotions occurred. I have attempted to re-create these primal motifs in new places. From my first landscape painting I became a part of the landscape, with a good animal understanding of it while within it. No matter the continent or square foot upon which I set an easel, I seek an authentic, direct and high voltage response to the land on canvas.” –Joellyn Duesberry