Joseph Coniff: Basic Pictures

Rule Gallery

March 4 - April 15, 2017

  • Opening reception: Saturday, March 4 from 6-9pm
2-four flowers in detail 300
Joseph Coniff, Four Flowers (in detail), 2016, acrylic and enamel on canvas, 40 x 36 inches

RULE Gallery is pleased to present Basic Pictures, a solo exhibition of new work by Joseph Coniff

Basic Pictures is held in conjunction with Denver’s Month of Photography 2017 and aligns closely with this year’s theme: Between the Medium, Seeing Photographically. The intention with this topic is to provide a survey of how artists use photo-based media and tools in unconventional ways to realize their visions, moving it out of its traditional category.

In Basic Pictures, Joseph Coniff’s ultimate works are paintings, but the methods he uses to create them involve multiple photographic techniques. Starting with everyday mark-making instruments like Sharpies, Coniff makes gestural sketches on computer paper which he then captures using a flatbed scanner. This harkens back to the photograms of Man Ray: darkroom works where the artist bypassed the middle-media of negatives by layering objects directly onto photographic paper, resulting in collaged imagery that can vary from ghostly to sharp, to surreal and dreamlike. Then, with the scanned images as his palette, Coniff, like many modern photographers, employs software to manipulate the results: enlarging, zooming, cropping, and recomposing them to produce the source material for the paintings. Through this process he explores how photographers capture and modify their basic images to look at things in greater detail and achieve a deeper sense of understanding.

Joseph Coniff (b. 1981) received a BFA in studio art from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and design in 2011. His work has been included in New American Paintings, Creative Quarterly, Studio Visit Magazine, and Vogue Espana. Coniff was listed as one of Denver’s 2012 Top Up-and- Coming Artists and was featured as one of Denver Westword’s 100 Colorado Creatives in 2014. He has received two Best of Denver Westword awards, both for RULE Gallery solo exhibitions: the first in 2012, and the second in 2014. Coniff’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. RULE Gallery has exhibited contemporary abstract and conceptual works, including paintings, sculpture, photography, and works on paper, by both established and emerging national artists, since 1991. The gallery has locations in Denver, Colorado, and Marfa, Texas. For more information, visit

Rule Gallery
530 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204


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