About the artist

b. 1929 in London, UK

d. 2020 in Gloucestershire, UK


Over the course of many decades, Peter Joseph has dedicated his practice to seeking the potential in constraint. He rose to critical acclaim in the 1970s for his meditative, two-colour paintings, which set one rectangle within a frame of a darker shade. These early works are characterised by perfect symmetry, where every decision about colour and proportion can be seen to be redolent of time, mood or place. While comparable to the work of Mark Rothko and Barnet Newman, Joseph’s is an anomalous strain of Minimalism: his allegiance lies as much with Renaissance masters as with his contemporaries. More recently his format has departed from his established ‘architecture’ to divide the canvas wherein loose brushwork, natural tones and patches of exposed canvas tap into new feeling. As Joseph says: “A painting must generate feeling otherwise it is dead.”

Download Biography / Bibliography