Opening Reception: Saturday May 4, 2-5pm
Guided Tour of the Exhibition with Sarah Anne Johnson: Saturday, May 4, 3pm
Exhibition Dates: May 4 – June 15, 2019
Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “This Land”, our fifth solo exhibition of work by Canadian artist Sarah Anne Johnson.
In “This Land”, Johnson focuses on landscape scenes from a variety of places that depict natural beauty and wonder in a multitude of guises. Not limiting herself to a specific location or clear narrative, Johnson continues to bridge the gap between the psychology of place and the dividing line between what is real and what is felt – a quality that remains a theme in all of her projects.
Johnson’s concerns with the connection between photographic object and reality are playfully displayed through the use of a broad mix of unconventional materials, including craft supplies, that undermine the seriousness of these scenes, mock our traditional ideas of high and low art, and magnify the dark truths about our relationship with the environment. Relief elements such as cotton balls, artificial flowers, heavily applied epoxy, holographic tape, and spray paint, and the use of Photoshop, make us question our relationship to nature and photography.
Instead of trying to harmoniously fuse the real and ideal, Johnson plays with their parallel lives by forcing together contradictions – high and low, two and three dimensionality, sincerity and mockery – to provoke emotion, delight, and suspicion.
Johnson received her MFA from Yale University and a BFA from University of Manitoba. Her work is featured in numerous public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Guggenheim Museum, NY; Contemporary Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC; The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, each of which has extensive holdings of her work. She was prominently featured in the “Oh, Canada” show at Mass MOCA and she has recently received commissions from Louis Vuitton, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Bank of Montreal.