Josephine Halvorson makes paintings on-site, face to face with an object in its environment. Often no more than an arm’s length away, she detects variations in texture, light, and temperature, transcribing these perceptions through the medium of paint. The result is an intimate portrait of the object, capturing both a natural likeness as well as the often unseen or overlooked character of her chosen subject.
Halvorson grew up on Cape Cod, where she first studied art on the beaches of Provincetown and with Barnet Rubenstein at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She attended The Cooper Union School of Art (BFA, 2003), Yale Norfolk (2002), and continued her interdisciplinary education at Columbia University’s School of the Arts (MFA, 2007). Halvorson has been awarded a number of prestigious residencies including a Fulbright Fellowship to Austria (2003-4); a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarhip at the Fondation des États-Unis, Paris (2007-8); Moly-Sabata in Sablons, France (2014, 2017); and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida (2016). She was also the first American to receive the Rome Prize at the French Academy at the Villa Medici, Rome, Italy (2014-2015).
Halvorson’s work has been exhibited widely. In 2015 she presented her first museum survey exhibition, Slow Burn, at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, curated by Cora Fisher. In 2016 she exhibited large-scale painted sculptures at Storm King Art Center, as part of the “Outlooks” series curated by Nora Lawrence. Her work has been written about extensively in various publications and she is one of the subjects of Art21's documentary series, New York Close Up.
Josephine Halvorson has taught at The Cooper Union, Princeton University, the University of Tennessee Knoxville Columbia University, and Yale University. In 2016 Halvorson joined Boston University as Professor of Art and Chair of Graduate Studies in Painting. She lives and works in Western Massachusetts.
Gallery Talk: Josephine Halvorson on Dana Schutz