AD 242 | Joshua Hagler
“The Tenets of Nihil”

The long arc of Joshua Hagler's oeuvre, with its focus on painting, could be traced by its slow, physical and conceptual disintegration - of it's imagery, politics, art historical underpinnings, and philosophical erudition - from its early pictorial messaging to a need, in more recent years, for direct physical experience of the numinous. Material layering is at the core of Hagler's work, combining a range of self-developed painting processes which force a loss of skilled control, making for radical pictorial transformation. The works situates itself in the paradox of absence and presence, the internal and external, and the sacred and profane.

Whatever research occurs with regard to issues such as mass shooting, wildfires, and religiosity in America, only demonstrates itself to the degree that it's relevant to the artist's own background and direct life experience. The personal is thus foregrounded and given preference over academic defenses, which are subverted at every opportunity. Hagler's distinct signature manages to span paintings both physically slight and vast, figurative and abstract. The work is intentional about avoiding redundancy common in an era of self-conscious branding, preferring endless evolution, while seeking to ground itself in deeper authenticity over time.

Topics Discussed In This Episode:
  • The Tenets of Nihil
  • Exile & Absence (The Archaic Brother) - The first tenet of Nihil
  • The reasons why Josh moved from California to New Mexico in 2017
  • Paradoxes
  • Private vs. public conversations
  • Arvo Pärt’s compositional style, “tintinnabuli”
  • Josh’s observations in abandoned spaces throughout New Mexico
  • Believing in consciousness
  • Axis Mundi
  • Patterns emerging out of observations
  • The Archaic Brother
  • How being a father has given him a deeper meaning and appreciation for life
  • The role meditation has played in his life

Artists Mentioned:
  1. Ruben Östlund (Director)
  2. Arvo Pärt (Composer)
  3. Mark Rothko (Painter)
  4. Aja Daashuur (Medium)

Books Mentioned:
  1. The Daemon (Anthony Peake)
  2. The Seat of the Soul (Gary Zukav)

Films Mentioned:
  1. The Square (2017)
  2. Force Majeure (2014)

Posted 8.22.2022


"I started this series as a means for exploration, an exploration of self, and an exploration of the perspectives of other artists.

This series is an unabridged documentation of conversations between artists. It’s a series dedicated to breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds. I want to inspire future creatives to have the courage to explore and experiment. This is about making dreams a reality and not about letting our dreams fall to the wayside.

My intention is to give my audience a sense of real human connection, something that feels rich and organic.

When I was thinking of a title I thought of the word “movement”.

In relation to the Renaissance period in art, my goal for this program is to signify a rebirth of consciousness towards the way we look at contemporary art."

- Yoshino