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Sue Johnson
updated: 03/03/2013
website: www.suejohnson1.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Venice Sojourn, Partial Series View
Venice Sojourn (Drawer)
Venice Sojourn (Confection)
Venice Sojourn (Slice of Confection)
Venice Sojourn (Yellow)
Venice Sojourn (Mandorle for Dali)
Venice Sojourn (after Anthony Caro at Peggy Guggenheim Collection)
Venice Sojourn (Kiwi Cake)
Designs for Imaginary Shelves (Oxford Group)
Round Red Chinese-like Shelf
The Inventories      Installation view (model)
Rain
Fridge
Ice
Rope
 
Portfolio Keywords:  abstract, consumer culture, nature, surreal, still life, science, landscape, language, autobiographical
 
 
Venice Sojourn, Partial Series View by Sue Johnson
Venice Sojourn, Partial Series View
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2012-13
9 " x  12 " 
Venice Sojourn (Drawer) by Sue Johnson
Venice Sojourn (Drawer)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2012-13
9 " x  12 " 
Venice Sojourn (Confection) by Sue Johnson
Venice Sojourn (Confection)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2012-13
Dimensions variable
Venice Sojourn (Slice of Confection) by Sue Johnson
Venice Sojourn (Slice of Confection)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2012-13
9 " x  12 " 
Venice Sojourn (Yellow) by Sue Johnson
Venice Sojourn (Yellow)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2009-10
9 " x  12 " 
Venice Sojourn (Mandorle for Dali) by Sue Johnson
Venice Sojourn (Mandorle for Dali)
watercolor and pencil on paper
2012-13
9 " x  12 " 
Venice Sojourn (after Anthony Caro at Peggy Guggenheim Collection) by Sue Johnson
Venice Sojourn (after Anthony Caro at Peggy Guggenheim Collection)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2012-13
9 " x  12 " 
Venice Sojourn (Kiwi Cake) by Sue Johnson
Venice Sojourn (Kiwi Cake)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2012-13
9 " x  12 " 
Designs for Imaginary Shelves (Oxford Group) by Sue Johnson
Designs for Imaginary Shelves (Oxford Group)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2011-12
8.5 " x  5.5 " 
Round Red Chinese-like Shelf by Sue Johnson
Round Red Chinese-like Shelf
Watercolor and pencil on paper
2011-12
20 " x  16 " 
The Inventories      Installation view (model) by Sue Johnson
The Inventories Installation view (model)
gouache and pencil on paper
2009-10
Dimensions variable
Rain by Sue Johnson
Rain
gouache and pencil on paper
2009-10
8" x  128" 
Fridge by Sue Johnson
Fridge
gouache and pencil on paper
2010
8" x  128" 
Ice by Sue Johnson
Ice
gouache and pencil on paper
2010
8" x  128" 
Rope by Sue Johnson
Rope
gouache and pencil on paper
2010
8" x  128" 

Artist Statement

Designs for Imaginary Shelves     (Images 1-10)

Inspired by a Chinese-style red lacquer circular shelf made by her Swedish grandfather when she was 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. Solitary cultural objects appear on some of the shelves, including such things as Italian pastries and confections seen in cross-section views, and art works visited while abroad.  

 

 

The Inventories     (Images 11-15)

There is something cinematic about The Inventories, a kind of warped, sequential space inspired by the panorama popular in the late nineteenth century.  These works are also in the tradition of artist sketchbooks, and I have been specifically re-imagining a contemporary work to be in dialogue with Hokusai’s remarkable collection of drawings of landscapes, flora and fauna, everyday life and even the supernatural known as the Hokusai Manga. My own variation seems tied together like an old-fashioned souvenir postcard set; each work is a collection of fragments, a synthetic construction composed of recognizable things and places. The overall amalgam creates a sort of flat, imaginary wunderkammer.  Pictures of things often live longer than the things themselves, and when presented together as if on a supermarket shelf these folding inventories collapse difference and transgress categories of what is real or imagined, natural or artificial. So it is that while on the surface the project appears to represent and document all manner of things in a descriptive language that signals truth and accuracy, the sum of its parts is more elusive than a simple inventory of things.

 

Artist Bio / CV
Sue Johnson earned a BFA in painting from Syracuse University and an MFA in painting from Columbia University. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Tweed Museum of Art, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Jan Cicero Gallery, Schroeder Romero/Winkleman Gallery Project Space, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Artists Space, McLean Project for the Arts, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Midwest Museum of American Art, Swarthmore College, Anderson Gallery-Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Richmond Museums. In her work Johnson often collaborates with museums and special collections and has created special projects with the Rosenbach Museum and Library, The Museum of the American Philosophical Society, Bucknell University Collections, and Carleton College.  Grants include awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts/Mid Atlantic Foundation Fellowship, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Grant, and four Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council.  Selected residency fellowships include the Kohler Co. Arts/Industry Program, The Mac Dowell Colony, Millay Colony, Art Omi International Artist Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hambidge Cetner for the Arts & Sciences, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale Foundation, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus Fellowship, Jentel Foundation, Stadt Salzburg Kunstlerhaus Fellowship, American Philosophical Society/Andre Michaux Library Research Fellowship, and American Antiquarian Society Creative Arts Research fellowship. Works are in the permanent collections of The Prudential, Exxon Company, Francis J. Greenburger Foundation, Bucknell University, Maier Museum of Art, Tweed Museum of Art, Bristol-Myers/Squibb and the John Michael Kohler Art Center.