Brooklyn-born abstract painter Joan Gold received her art education at The Cooper Union and The Brooklyn Museum in New York City, and at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1955 she was awarded a U.S. State Department fellowship to paint and study in Venezuela, where she remained for the next twenty four years. She retired as Associate Professor of the Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, and was awarded a medal for her service to Venezuela as an educator. In 1990 she received a Yaddo Fellowship in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Gold has had solo exhibitions at the Galeria Arte Vigente in Caracas, the Lisa Harris Gallery in Seattle, the Himovitz Gallery in Sacramento, and the Atlee Gallery in Eureka, CA. Her paintings have been shown at the California Museum of Art in Santa Rosa, and the gallery of the Cooper Union in New York City. In 2008 she exhibited with California State University at Humboldt’s First Street Gallery in Eureka.
Gold’s work is represented in public and corporate collections in the U.S. and abroad, including those of G.E. Corporation, Continental Cablevision, Massachusetts General Hospital, U.S. Air, the U.S. Embassy in Uganda, and the Morris Graves Museum, Saint Joseph Hospital in Eureka and the Boston Medical Center. Two of her paintings are included in the private collection of Bill and Melinda Gates. Gold has lived and worked in Humboldt County, California since returning to the U.S. from Venezuela in 1979.
The focus of my work is luminous color. I paint on paper which I assemble into paintings by composing the panels into groups and sometimes adhering them to canvas or board. I work with paintings in series; what I want to make visual happens best when a number of pieces come together unified by a single vision. Recent work integrates traditional painting techniques and imagery enhanced by modern technology.
I arrived gradually at an abstract and minimal format as the most effective way to present the color and paint application which are my primary interests. I employ a variety of media and processes to achieve color that is rich and complex. Acrylic paint and collage are basic, as are, to a lesser degree, pastel, oil pastel, graphite, colored pencil and digital printing. Important aspects of the process are glazing with transparent paint layers and underpainting, both techniques that date from the fifteenth century. A few years ago I began to incorporate "found" materials, such as wallpaper and other commercially printed papers into my paintings. Soon after that, I started making my own collage materials which greatly enriched the operation and led me to the variety of materials I use today.
The visual arts can be made to communicate joy, balance, harmony, beauty and serenity. These are qualities that I need to provide balance in my own life and which I offer to my viewer. In my studio, with my materials, I create a place of refuge, filled with color and light.
Marianne Moore said poetry "comes into and steadies the soul". Art can do that.