Josephine Halvorson


Professor of Art, Chair of Graduate Studies in Painting


BFA, The Cooper Union; MFA, Columbia University


Josephine Halvorson comes to BU from Yale University’s School of Art, where she has taught from 2010 to 2016, and held the position of Senior Critic in the MFA program in Painting & Printmaking. She has also taught at Princeton University, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Columbia University, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Additionally, she has visited over fifty schools and institutions, lecturing on her work throughout the United States and Europe.

Halvorson makes art in relation to a particular object and place. For the last decade she has worked from observation, painting on-site in urban and rural areas alike. Transcribing her perception in real time through the medium of color, her paintings describe the physical appearance of her subject at-hand, while also expressing that which is invisible yet nonetheless felt: environment, time, history, and emotion. Her artistic practice foregrounds attention and experience, taking the form of painting and also sculpture, printmaking, and drawing.

Halvorson grew up on Cape Cod, where she first studied art on the beaches of Provincetown and with Barnet Rubenstein at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She attended The Cooper Union School of Art (BFA, 2003), and continued her interdisciplinary education at Columbia University’s School of the Arts (MFA, 2007). Halvorson has been granted three yearlong fellowships in Europe: the United States Fulbright to Vienna (2003-4), the Harriet Hale Woolley at the Fondation des États-Unis, Paris (2007-8), and as the first American to receive the Rome Prize at the French Academy at the Villa Medici (2014-2015). She is the recipient of several awards, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2009) and a New York Foundation for the Arts award in Painting (2010), and has been awarded residencies at Moly-Sabata in Sablons, France (2014) and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida (2016).

Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is represented by Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, and Peter Freeman, Inc., Paris. Currently on view at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY is her first outdoor sculpture exhibition, curated by Nora Lawrence. Her first museum survey was in 2015 at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, curated by Cora Fisher. Halvorson has had solo and group exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Seoul, and Rome. Her work has been written about in exhibition catalogs and significant publications, and reviews have appeared regularly in Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Frieze, and Art in America. She is one of the subjects of Art21’s documentary series, New York Close Up.

Visual Arts