You, darkness, that I come from
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! -
powers and people-

and it is possible a great energy is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.

('You, Darkness', Rainer Maria Rilke)

Jack Barrett is pleased to present Out of My Mind, Brooklyn-based painter Haley Josephs’ fourth solo show with the gallery. Drawn entirely from the artist's imagination, these latest works depict Josephs’ signature feminine characters at all stages of life and death, traversing through passages unknown. Landscapes familiar, fantastical, and foreboding blur the line between worlds real and imagined.

Characteristic of Josephs’ practice, the environment of each painting sets the stage for the emotional landscape of her subjects. In this new series, characters make their way through dense, dark woods in search of enlightenment–like a bud reaching through the dirt, until finally it breaks through to the warm sunlight. In the darkness of the forest lies the key to transformation, and each character must overcome their challenges to metamorphosize into their truest form.

Oscillating between bright and dark hues, the formal aspects of the paintings in Out of My Mind mimic the characters’ journeys. A shift from Josephs’ more saturated, color-blocked style of painting, these new works are built from layering thin, translucent applications of paint. This change in sensibility further reinforces the act of searching and mining present within the paintings, each layer revealing the final form of the image.

The title of the show itself, Out of My Mind, carries multiple meanings. The depicted scenes are directly from the artist’s imagination, never from sourced imagery. The visual vernacular within the paintings also reflects the show’s title. For example, in Freedom, two curious onlookers observe from the shadowy forest as a figure appears to regenerate–the cherub-like face of a newborn emerging from the split head of an adult body, much like a flower opening toward the light. Finally, within the title lies a metaphor for the artist’s process–letting go of inhibition and ego to get out of one's way, granting both imagination and intuition the space and power to take the lead.

In Out of My Mind, Josephs beckons us to embrace the unknown darkness, and what ultimately comes to light is that the heroes in her paintings are those who have begun to see, encounter, confront, nurture, and come to know themselves.

Haley Josephs (b. 1987) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA in Painting & Drawing from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 2011, and her MFA in Painting & Printmaking from Yale University in 2014. Recent solo shows include Every Part of the Dream at Almine Rech, London (2022), Passages at Jack Barrett (2022), and Psychopomp at Almine Rech, Brussels (2021). Group exhibitions include Almine Rech, London; Make Room, LA; Unclebrother & Gavin Brown Enterprise, Hancock, NY; Capsule, Shanghai, China. Josephs' paintings have been exhibited internationally, including at the Cleveland Institute of Art.