Joseph Shetler

October 7-30, 2016

Regarding Space

The presence and value of simplicity in my upbringing has greatly inspired my practice, both conceptually and aesthetically. Raised in a Mennonite family, the idea of simplicity pervades all aspects of life, from the modest architecture of our churches to our cookbooks, which are titled More With Less and Simply in Season. One of the theological questions we ask ourselves is how can we be in the world, but not of the world? Mennonite families typically live humbly; homes are not embellished with art, excess, or worldly items, but are rather of modest design, in which form follows function. One of the ways to live simply is to not place too much emphasis on the endless pursuit of worldly success, popular culture, and social media. As a visual artist, I create work that reflects these values; it’s a rejection of the things that I believe complicate our lives.Regarding Space is a proposal of an ideal space to exhibit an Untitled (Tyvek) series of 9 drawings. The exhibition itself would display each work in separate rooms, which would allow the materials to interact with light and space. This controlled environment creates a complete experience for the viewer by controlling how the work is seen. Regarding Space is meant to expose the complexities of the paper, graphite, and quiet forms.Thank you to friends, family, Maria Vizcaino, and Aaron Aeschliman, AIA.

Joseph Shetler (born Goshen, Indiana) is an American post-minimalist artist. He approaches post-minimalism with a Mennonite lens, basing his aesthetic off of anabaptist theology and simple way of life as well as art history. He was educated at Hesston College (A.A. 2004), Goshen College (B.A. 2006), and Arizona State University (M.F.A. 2014). He lives in Washington, DC. He recently has had artist residencies at Anderson Ranch, Ragdale, and Vermont Studio Center.