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Joan Linder

Professor of Art
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences


Drawing, consumption and mass production, mundane objects, modern life, Love Canal and other toxic sites, environmental art, feminist art, power, public art

Portrait of Joan Linder, University at Buffalo art and drawing expert.

Joan Linder. Copyright Liz Linder Photography

Joan Linder is known for making drawings packed with thousands, and even hundreds of thousands, of tiny, energized marks.

Her subjects include the banality of mass-produced domestic artifacts; the politics of war; sexual identity and power; and the beauty disclosed in the close scrutiny of natural and human-made structures. This diversity of subject matter is a critical element of her attempt to express the complexity and variety of contemporary life.

In a culture hyper-saturated by electronic imagery, Linder uses materials such as watercolor or a quill pen and a bottle of ink to create large-scale images that persist in exploring and claiming the sub-technological process of observation and mark-making.

Linder’s drawings and paintings have documented many subjects, including trees, junk mail, Amazon delivery boxes, her kitchen sink, objects like car seats and baby jumpers that are supposed to make mothers’ and babies’ lives better, and household items like egg cartons and tissue boxes.

Locally, Linder’s projects have included drawing toxic waste and environmental disaster sites in Western New York, including Love Canal; creating a 45-foot drawing in ballpoint pen ink that depicts the interior of one wall of the popular local bar known as “The Pink”; drawings created in UB’s gross anatomy lab; and “Remedy,” a permanent installation at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center featuring drawings of flowers that support women's health.

Linder’s work has included life-sized representations of figures and objects, reflecting her belief that a vital relationship arises between the observer and the observed on a scale of one-to-one. She has also completed a number of public works of art, including “Remedy” and projects for a school and a subway station in New York City.


Joan Linder, MFA
Professor of Art
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences