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Joe Max Emminger 2024

summer greenlake, acrylic on paper, 30x44, 2021.jpg

Deep in the Winter Forest (Hello Out There), acrylic on paper, 30x44", 2021

i.e. is thrilled to be representing Joe Max Emminger and presenting his first solo exhibit with us.


   You might call Joe Max Emminger a creature of habit. Born in Seattle, he has lived there all his life, living in a neighborhood not far from where he was born. He developed an interest in art in the early 1970's and educated himself with books at the University of Washington art library as well as getting to know other artists and instructors form the school of painting. Painting quickly became a central part of his life and he has painted every day since. For years Emminger had a studio in downtown Seattle and made a walk through the public market part of his daily sojourn. The bustle, the color, the smells are what he depicted. He has also walked for many years around Green Lake, close to his home, and so the swans and bicycles and water show up as well. He is so much a painter of his place and daily activities yet his stylized forms have a universal appeal. He shares with us his experiences and his responses to the world around him. His paintings may appear simplistic with pure colors and strong lines but they are never one dimensional. They have been worked on, painted over, struggled with until there is a resolution. And to then look simplified is one of the hardest things for a painter to achieve. Emminger says it's like "moving furniture around". They are full of wonder but can also touch on grief and disappointment. They run the full spectrum of life. They are about family, travel, pets, love, loss and being alive and just walking around and taking it all in.


"I wasn’t trained as an artist,  but I picked up the habit of making art from being around other artists. It turned into the center of my life for the last fifty years. I am a curious person. I make sense of things that I hear, see and feel by painting. Painting for me is not optional; I can’t turn it off.
I also try to leave room in my paintings: room for them to breathe and live in the world, room for other people to move around in them."

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