Autumn’s Come Undone (Book)

With the conclusion of Shag’s 2009 Los Angeles exhibit of large-scale diptych and triptych works comes the release of his highly anticipated hardbound book Autumn’s Come Undone. While the book is a detailed visual portrayal of the vast and surreal works, its also a rather personal portrayal of Josh Agle himself, both through his own poems and others’ including “I don’t drink much…just often” by Billy Mays. The most revealing element of the book is a very telling and personal two page epilogue written by his manager and brother, Piet Agle.

When asked what was in the works for his 2009 LA exhibit, Agle replied “Olympus is poisoned with boredom.” And while that was a title from one of his previous paintings, it clearly implied he was beginning to tire of his signature subject matter that had placed him in his own Lemon Heights “Olympus.”

The departure of mid-century architecture and tiki culture in the works of Autumn’s Come Undone is quite deliberate. “I’m tired of cocktail parties, tikis, bouffant hairdos, mid-century modern furniture,” he shares in the book. “I feel like a factory worker. I think I’m finished with that. I need a fresh start…


Agle uses his poems to introduce some of his works, including one he wrote and uses as an intro for Prince from the Biomass, which starts:

Spring was awkward, summer fun,

But now my autumn’s come undone

I’ve dug the trenches, barbed the wire

And set up lines of cannon fire

Published by Baby Tattoo Books in 2009, the hardbound 64 page book is available through major retailers and is also available in a limited edition release of just 100 copies, which includes a serigraph of A Discouraging Realization. As an extra bonus, and utilizing a different medium than most Shag paintings, Agle painted a 4×5 inch watercolor original for the cover of each of the numbered books. Each small painting is unique, individually signed and titled with words such as “Hunger”, “Catastrophe” and “Doubt”.


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