' Jim Toia
Jim Toia
30 + 3
November 10 - December 22, 2018

Press Release
BoxoPROJECT 2020 

In March at the onset of the Coronavirus, Jim Toia started his artist residency in Joshua Tree, CA. The artist had been preparing for this residency for over two years to explore the uniqueness of the desert’s soil and cryptobiotic crusts. Toia brought back samples of its complex and unique biotic organisms to put under an electron microscope. He photographed, digitally manipulated, and print the microscopic imagery large scale on archival backlight film and acetate.

The magnified images consisted of numerous living organisms including algae, moss, bacteria, lichen and mycelium. Toia found ways to manipulate the imagery to bring it to life, change it, erase it, and transform the prints.

As he ventured out into the seemingly desolate rocky landscape, he found abundant life. The collection of works is a direct response to his isolation and discovery of a new medium, new forms and brief experience during unprecedented times in Joshua Tree. The work’s titles stem from specific locations and unexpected circumstances. 


30 + 3

In this selection of drawings made over the past thirty years, we see evidence of Toia’s desire to use any material available to explore the mark-making process. Numerous drawings in the exhibition come from ledger pages. While dumpster diving in a courtyard of a former Franciscan monastery that had been turned into an infirmary, Toia discovered a bounty of ledger books early in his career. The infirmary was being upgraded, and materials and records were being thrown away. Toia saw the ledger pages, full of relentless record keeping, as a foundation and underlying structure to overlay something new. This discovery forged a whole new path of exploration for decades of artwork, layered over and around each page of the ledger.

Toia extracts from the natural world; mud, pine needles, sheep’s wool, walnut ink, materials found in the proximity of his travels that become vehicles for new consideration. Nature and other materials, such as rubber and plastic, prompted the artist to delve into the unknown and to rely on chance to help determine form. The desire to relinquish control is something Toia has leaned towards all his life. He seeks materials that process their own force and make their own declarations. He lets chance mitigate outcome by leaving a great deal up to fate and circumstance. Such desire to employ different tendencies of nature is an attempt to connect with the physical laws of the universe. These intimate processes of the natural world often elude mankind as we progressively pull away from nature, isolating ourselves.

The three new works on view support this approach in the art making process, but in divergent ways. The large spore drawings are a direct collaboration with nature. “If Only Words Had Shadows” finds the artist using a natural process, but introduces the hand to collaborate more deliberately. 


link to video of exhibition


 link to artist website


 link to New York Times Review: Jim Toia at NJ State Museum


2020 BoxoPROJECTS Artist Residency, Joshua Tree, Mojave Desert, CA

2018  Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2015  The New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ 

The Pingry School, Warren, NJ

2013  The Gross Center for the Arts, Lawrenceville, NJ

2012  Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

Studios of Key West, The Petri Island Project, Key West, FL

2010  Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, NJ

2008 Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2006 Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2005 Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004 Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

Ben Shahn Galleries, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

2002 Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ

Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2000 Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

1997  Yearsly Spring Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

1996  The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ

1995  Spazi Contemporary Art, Housatonic, MA

1993  Centenary College, Hackettstown, NJ

Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ

1992  Spazi Contemporary Art, Housatonic, MA

Sculptures S.V.A. Gallery, New York, NY

1991   Public Proof Installation, Port Authority Bus Terminal, New York, NY

1987  Gallery Patisserie, Jersey City, NJ

1986  The Torn Awning Gallery, New York, NY



2018 Human/Nature, Wayne State University, Elaine Jacob Gallery, Detroit, MI

2017 Winterfell, Kim Foster Gallery, NY

2016 Come in from the Cold, Kim Foster Gallery, NY

2014 “Ready or Not” New Jersey Arts Annual: Fine Art, Newark Museum, NJ             

Mushrooms, Moss and a Movie, Kim Foster Gallery, NY

2013 New Faces, Lucky Street Gallery, Key West FL

2012 Emergence & Structure Traveling Exhibition, University Gallery, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, MDC Freedom Tower Gallery, Miami, FL, Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College, Easton, PA

2011 Night, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

Sticks and Stones, Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, NY

Everhart Museum, Scranton, PA

Bloom, Islip Museum, East Islip, NY

2009 DrawingPainting, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

Rahway Arts Guild, Rahway, NJ

2007  On Paper, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2006  Terrain, Kim Foster Gallery, NY

2005  Collectors Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

The Mind of Nature: Structures and Processes: Kerns, Minter, Toia, Taipei Artists’ Village International, Taipei, Taiwan

Digitized: Kerns, Minter, Toia, at the Chen-Lin University Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan,

2004  Temporalscape, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Metamorphosis, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Kohler, Wisconsin

2003  SmART Gallery – Inaugural Group Exhibition, Munich, Germany

The For-Site Foundation- Inaugural Exhibition, Grass Valley, CA

Organics, two person exhibition with Illlia Barger curated by Tricia Fagan, Mercer Community

College, Trenton, NJ

2002  Made by Nature, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Long Island City, NY

Artists and the Art of the Book, Traveling exhibition curated by Curlee Holton,

Director of the Experimental Print Institute, Lafayette College

Museo de Arte y Diseno Contemporaneo, San Jose, Costa Rica

Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, OH

Artists’ Image Resource Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Banana Factory, Bethlehem, PA

2001  Selections, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Members Gallery, Buffalo, NY

1999  In View of Nature, Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, NY

A Book in Hand, Brooklyn Public Library by Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY

Small Works, Kim Foster Gallery, NY

1998  Drawings, Yearsley Spring Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Drawings On Paper and Off, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA

1997  ArtLink: Miniature Golf Course, Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ

1996  Il Politecnico XX Arte, Rome, Italy

Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

Image & Text, Rathbone Gallery, Albany, NY

450 Broadway Gallery, New York, NY

1995  Buoys, curated by Bill Bace, New York, NY

1994  Art of Italian Americans, Lehman College, White Plains, NY

Beyond Bard, National Arts Club, New York, NY

1993  Artists’ Books and Books about Art, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York

Three Sculptors, The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ

1992  Books By Artists, Spazi Contemporary Art, Housatonic, MA

Enigma, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY

Rituals, The Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center, New York

Breaking Space, A.J. Lederman Gallery, Hoboken, NJ

Range, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY

1991   Dreams and Ambiguities, curated by Barbara Green, Spazi Contemporary, MA

1990  Wall Works, curated by Charles Kessler, City Hall, Jersey City, NJ

New Jersey Arts Annual, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ

1989  Prints and Multiples, Erector Square Gallery, New Haven, CT

Selections 1989, Erector Square Gallery, New Haven, CT

1988  The Milk Bar, New York, NY

1986  The Metro Show, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ

No Lo Contendere, New York, NY




Saks Fifth Avenue, Houston, TX and Toronto, Canada

New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ

Stanford University, Stanford, CA

AT&T/ Lucent, Basking Ridge, NJ

IC Deal Collection, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX

Stephen & Naomi Antonakos, New York, NY

The Lands Collection, Beverly Hills, CA

Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ

The FOR-SITE Foundation, Nevada City/San Francisco, CA

D’Agostino Collection, Rome, Italy

Philip Bennett Smerling Design, Lenox, MA

Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ



2015  State of the Arts, PBS Television, NY/NJ Metropolitan Market

2015  New York Times, Pieces of Nature Preserved as Art, Tammy La Gorce

2015  Times of Trenton, NJ State Museum Jim Toia’s Art, Janet Purcell

2015  Newsworks.org WHYY Philadelphia, Nature Based Exhibit and NJ State Museum

2014  SciArt in Amrica, In the Studio of Jim Toia, Interview by Ed Kerns

2013  Orion Magazine, Life in the Petri Dish, Illustrations Charles Mann

2009 “The Process Principle” by Steve Piccione, Lehigh Valley Style, pg 33-36, September

2006 “Jim Toia at Kim Foster” Art in America Leigh Anne Miller October

2005 Artweek, Alison Bing

2003 “Metamorphosis: Jim Toia” Sculpture, Carol Rosen, May issue

2002 “Made by Nature at Dorsky Gallery” New York Times, Ken Johnson, October 11

2002 “Collaboration with Nature: Jim Toia” NY Arts, Tova Beck Friedman, Summer issue

2002 “Jim Toia: groundwork,” Sculpture, April

2002 “Nature mushrooms into art at Clinton museum,” The Sunday Star-Ledger, Dan Bischoff, March 31

2002 “Finding Meaning in Mushrooms Served Up as Art,” New York Times, William Zimmer, March 24

2002 “Magical Mushrooms,” Time Off, reviewed by Susan Van Dongen, March 22

2001 “Jim Toia,” Sculpture, Erica-Lynn Huberty, January/February

2000 “Jim Toia” New York Times, Ken Johnson, June 23

2000 “Jim Toia” Village Voice, Kim Levin, June 27

1998  New Jersey Network, Artist Spotlight, NJN TV, Trenton, NJ

1997  “Strokes of Inspiration” New York Times, Bill Zimmer, Sept 28

1997  “Manhattan Avant Garde Galleries” Kunstmarket Newspaper, Sept 14

1997  Review: Jim Toia at Yearsly Spring , The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 6

1997  Time Out Magazine, September

1997  Review Magazine, September

1996  “Sculptor Who Collaborates with Nature” New York Times, Vivian Raynor, September 1.

1996  “Sculptor’s Creations are Second Nature” The Star Ledger, Eileen Watkins, August 21.

1996  Cover Magazine – Review by David Gibson, October issue

1994  “Italian Americans Pose Questions about Ethnicity” New York Times, Vivian Raynor, December 25

1992  “Imagery with Surrealistic Accent” New York Times, Vivian Raynor

1988  The Print Collector’s Newsletter, Jackie Brody Vol. XIX, No 4



2012  The Studios of Key West, Key West, FL

2008 Costa Rica Cultural Arts Center, San Jose, Costa Rica

2007 University of Texas, Pan American, Edinburg, TX

2006 Taipei Artist Village, Taipei, Taiwan

2005 University of California, San Jose

2003 FOR-SITE Foundation, Grass Valley, California

1999  Drury College, Springfield, IL Artist in residence

1997  Lafayette College, Easton, PA Artist in residence

1994  The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ Artist in residence



MFA        School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

School of Visual Arts Studio Program Urbino, Italy

BA            Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY



Morris Area Council on the Arts Foundation Grant – Morristown, NJ (2005)

AP Kirby, Jr. Foundation, Inc. (2002)

New Jersey State Council for the Art Grant (2001)

Geraldine R Dodge Foundation Grant, Suzanne Zimmer Award (1996)

Merit Award, School of Visual Arts (1992)

Suzanne Zimmer Award, Bard College (1985)