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Although Mesler’s autobiographical paintings evoke illustrations from a children’s alphabet book, his distinctive style imbues them with a dark wit that reveals pivotal moments from his life. Composed on raw linen, the quick-witted drawings and hand-rendered texts are typically deadpan in their humour, while the bold leafy pattern and graphic elements recall the vernacular of Los Angeles and Southern California design. Above all, Mesler’s paintings can be read as wry and self-deprecating commentary on Mesler’s roles as a father, artist and art dealer, with the hand of judgement pointing to geographical locations that mark significant moments in the genesis of his personal evolution.

Joel Mesler was born in Los Angeles in 1974 and lives and works in New York. He received an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1999. Since opening his first gallery, Dianne Pruess, in Los Angeles in 2000, he has worked as both a dealer and an artist. Mesler has operated several galleries over the past two decades, including Feuer/Mesler in New York; Rental in Los Angeles and New York; Untitled in New York, and Retrospective in Hudson. Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); Harper's Books, New York (2020); Simon Lee Gallery, London (2018); Harper’s Books, New York (2018) and Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles (2017).

Biography

Education

  • 1999

    San Francisco Art Institute, CA, USA

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2020

    Show Schmo, Harper’s Books, New York, NY, USA

    Sand Paintings, presented by Patrick De Brock Gallery at Art Brussels, Brussels, Belgium (forthcoming)

    David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA (forthcoming)

  • 2019

    Solo Presentation, presented by White Collums at Independent, New York, NY, USA

  • 2018

    Most of it is my money, Harper’s Books, New York, NY, USA

    The Alphabet of Creation (For Now), Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK

  • 2017

    Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

  • 2016

    The Estate of Joel Mesler, presented by Cultural Counsel at NADA, New York NY, USA

    Fish People, The Surf Lodge, Montauk, NY, USA

    American People, TORRI, Paris, France

  • 2006

    Survival Meets Ideal Hands, Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles, CA, USA