JOSEPH HOLSTON is an American artist, painter and printmaker, renowned for his cubist, abstract style, which has evolved over a fine arts career spanning more than 40 years. His media include oil painting, etching, silk screen, and collage.
Holston has a long and distinguished exhibition record, and an equally long history of enthusiastic critical acclaim for his paintings and etchings. His work can be found in numerous private and public collections around the country and he has attracted the attention of both collectors and scholars of American art. His art is included in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; The Phillips Collection; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Library of Congress Fine Print Collection; the Yale University Art Gallery; the Butler Institute of American Art; the U. S. Federal Reserve Fine Art Collection; the Georgia Museum of Art; the Museum of Art of the Rhode Island School of Design; the Amarillo Museum of Art; the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; the University of Maryland University College; the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland; the Lyndon B. Johnson Library at the University of Texas; and Howard University, among others.
Holston’s visual narrative “Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad,” completed in 2008, and consisting of 50 paintings, etchings and drawings, toured nationally and internationally, including an exhibition at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The eighteen etchings from “Color in Freedom” are included in the collection of the Library of Congress. “Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad” is also the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Holston’s work was also included in two additional traveling exhibitions: “African American Art since 1950,” and “Convergence: Jazz, Films and the Visual Arts,” organized by the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland. The screen print of his painting “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” commemorating the dedication of the Martin Luther King National Memorial in Washington, D. C., is in the collections of the Library of Congress and the Federal Reserve Board.
Holston’s painting “Jazz at Takoma Station” may be seen in the exhibition Ashcan to Abstraction: Modernism in America, now on view at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland.
“His work celebrates life in all its phases….And while one can see influences of European and modern masters in Holston’s oeuvre, his art is wholly autographic. In other words, when one sees a Holston one knows it’s a Holston.”—Lisa Hodermarsky, The Sutphin Family Senior Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT (2011)