Joan Hall: Sea of Heartbreak

Joan Hall's stunning large-scale works of art use handmade paper to explore the effects of plastic on the sea.

May 19, 2018 - July 29, 2018

Ilgenfritz Gallery

As the artist notes, plastic has changed the marine ecosystem; ten percent of the world’s plastic winds up in the ocean, does not biodegrade, and floats indefinitely around the globe. Birds and marine wildlife also ingest this plastic. For “Sea of Heartbreak,” Hall focuses on the increase in algae bloom and invasive algae and dying coral reefs worldwide, the result of increasing ocean temperatures. Plastic pollution has contributed in part to this devastating ecological shift. Through the creation of complex layered arrangements of paper and objects in rich colors, Hall creates sculptures that are both alluring and yet cautionary as they remind us of the peril we will be in should we choose to ignore pollution.

About the Artist
Joan Hall works in mixed media, and large-scale installations, with an emphasis on the materials of paper, glass, and metal. Hall received her BFA at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and her MFA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She studied papermaking with Garner Tullis at the Institute of Experimental Printmaking in San Francisco. She is known for her innovative approaches to material and process. Hall’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (NY), Leopold-Hoesch Museum (Germany), Newport Art Museum, St. Louis Art Museum (MO), Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney), Silkeborg Art Center (Denmark), The Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (San Antonio, TX), George Mason University (Fairfax, VA), Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE), Hillwood Art Museum (Brookville, NY), Walton Arts Center (Fayetteville, AR), Budapest Museum of Fine Arts (Hungary), Nordjyllands Museum of Art (Aalborg, Denmark), Suwa Municipal Museum (Japan), Municipal Museum (Nanjing, China), Musée d’Art (Lyon, France), and the Rijswijk Museum and Apeldoorn Museum (both in The Netherlands). She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards that include two MAAA-NEA individual artist grants and an exhibition grant from the Danish National Council. Her work has been published in national and international books and is in numerous public and private collections. Hall is the Emerita Kenneth E. Hudson of Art in the Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis and currently a visiting critic in the graduate printmaking program at the Rhode Island School of Design.