Inspired by a Chinese-style red lacquer circular shelf owned by her Swedish grandfather and given to her as a child, Johnson takes this primary form into new territories. More about the absence of things, these imaginary shelves are designs for building a modern cabinet of curiosities. Tapping into the autobiographical, the artist sketches initial models while traveling. The first set developed while sitting in cafés and bars in Oxford, England, and the second set came about while the artist spent a winter sojourn in Venice, Italy. Designs start in small notebooks aided by things at hand - tracing bar glasses for circles and using menus for rulers. Cultural objects appear within some of the shelf designs, including such things as Italian pastries and confections seen in cross-section views, art works visited while traveling, and most recently, stage set props from T.V. game shows.

Sample Worlds. New wallpaper designs printed on recycled wallpapers. Repeat patterns are constructed from rebus images that, once puzzled out, encourage contemplation of the natural and artificial worlds. Wallpapers will be used to create an installation project that simulates a retail showroom for viewing and choosing wallpapers for the home and office.

Unique silkscreen wallpapers were created during a residency at the Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, Belgium in January-February 2014.


Gouache and watercolor with color pencil on paper. 16 x 20 inches.

Gouache and watercolor with color pencil on paper. 16 x 20 inches.

To see this recent project created for the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, UK - go to Projects with Museums

Thinking in Rome. QuickTime movie. Two 20-foot long ink paintings completed while at The American Academy in Rome. Images find their origin in Italian buildings, monuments, frescos, mosaics, and museums, and in collection materials at the AAR.

QuickTime movie (5 min.) documents the series, The Inventories, which is built on traditions of still life, vanitas and memento mori, pictures of the everyday -- the familiar and ephemeral.

Still images. Gouache & colored pencil on paper. Alternate versions available as archival pigment prints in accordion book format.

Miniature books available through Printed Matter, Inc.
www.printedmatter.org

Like a fantastic menagerie or bestiary, when seen together these works create a sort of "paper museum," a special collection of natural and artificial things in which the typically distinct worlds of the animate and inanimate are now conflated, compressed and fashioned into one new whole.

Gouache paintings on handmade paper

All works are gouache hand-painting on archival pigment prints, 16" x 48"
2006-08
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