Joan Waltemath, born in 1953, grew up on the Great Plains where her German ancestors settled in the late 19th century. Her early experiences in nature and looking at native geometries inform her subsequent abstract paintings and guide their complex use of materials. As her multifaceted 2 dimensional surfaces unfold in time, their spatial voids constructed of harmonic progressions emerge to facilitate an interaction with her audience and allow for a reflective response from a sustained engagement.
Waltemath holds a BFA from the RI School of Design, an MFA from Hunter College, CUNY. She has lived and worked in New York city since 1977 and collaborated with filmmakers, musicians, and writers in collective groups and through special projects since the early days of the downtown No Wave era. “Ok, Today, Tomorrow” a film produced out of her studio was shown at MOMA and archived in their collection as part of a recent survey of the LES 1980’s.
Shown in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Portland, San Diego, Omaha, London, Basel, Amsterdam and Cologne, her paintings and drawings are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, Yale University Art Galleries and the Harvard University Art Museum, among others. She has written extensively on art and served as an editor-at-large for the Brooklyn Rail since 2001. She taught at the IS Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union from 1997 to 2010, at Princeton University and has lectured widely. She is currently the Director of MICA’s MFA program, the LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting.