M+B is pleased to present an exhibition of new relief wood carvings by Josh Dihle. Root Music is the artist's first show in Los Angeles and runs from June 4 through July 10, 2021, with an opening reception on Friday, June 4 from 6 to 8pm.
In Josh Dihle’s carved walnut wall reliefs, familiar things like plants, letters, and teeth form the basis for moments of spiritual wonder. In each work, we find unlikely pairings of carved and painted images: landscapes and fossils, flowers and dragons, the ABCs and fiery skies. Together, these works propose new harmonies between unlike parts.
Dihle’s process is patient, meditative, and improvisational. The working period on each piece spans from months to years as the carvings pass into and out of states of completion. Dihle will often return to a finished carving to embed additional objects and carve new layers of imagery. In this way, the works accrue markers of devotion and experience, much like the religious altarpieces or medieval reliquaries that inform them.
Although the works in Root Music have their footing in historical approaches to material and craft, they are the result of a wide range of techniques. Some pieces are rubbed by hand with raw pigment and tung oil, others are fastidiously brushed or carved, and some are sprayed with brilliant aerosolized paint. The result in each case is a dimensional painting-carving hybrid that holds unlike thoughts and forms in a single vessel. Just as teeth, trees, and plants are the complex outgrowth of an unseen root, Dihle’s carvings stem from a prolonged process of contemplation, focus, and play.
Josh Dihle (b. 1984, Rockville, MD) received his MFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 and a BA from Middlebury College in 2007. He has had solo exhibitions at Andrew Rafacz (Chicago, IL), McAninch Arts Center (Chicago, IL) and Valerie Carberry Gallery (Chicago, IL). Dihle's work has been exhibited in group shows nationally and internationally, including Massimo De Carlo Vspace (Milan, Italy), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL), Shane Campbell, (Chicago, IL) Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, IL), Essex Flowers (New York, NY), Ruschman (Mexico City, Mexico) and Annarumma Gallery (Naples, Italy). Residencies include Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT) and Ox-Bow Summer Arts Faculty Residency (Napa, CA). Dihle will be the artist-in-residence at Kunstmeile Krems (Austria) in summer 2021. His work and curatorial projects have been written about in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, New City, Artspace, The Washington Post, and Artsy, among others. Dihle teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and co-directs the artist project space Julius Caesar. Josh Dihle lives and works in Chicago.
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