October 1 – December 5, 2020Schedule Appointment
Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new photo-based work by Sarah Anne Johnson incorporating painting and other media. A sense of connecting and belonging to nature and an ongoing investigation into photographic representation inform her new mixed media work photographing trees. This is the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery.
For the past two years, Johnson has taken photographs in the forests of her native Manitoba. These printed photographs of trees develop from Johnson’s feelings of intimacy and integration with the natural world. From indigenous societies who preserve ways of knowing the world in relationship to the land, to modern scientific researchers testing the ability of trees to communicate intelligently, Johnson draws inspiration from the transcendent and healing properties of nature. After photographing the trees, Johnson makes pigment prints and works intuitively to transform the prints into active grounds for her mixed media, applying both fine art and unconventional materials such as paint, photo-spotting ink and gold or brass leaf across their surfaces.
The painted photographs at times exhibit dense grids of dots and dashes; small, biomorphic shapes stenciled in acrylic floating on the surface of the photograph; or as in UPMC, 2020, triangular stains of oil paint that have been painted freehand, to trace the negative space between tree branches and simulate stained glass windows in houses of worship. Johnson’s added forms represent with paint and brush what the eye and camera cannot apprehend; not only communication between plants, but, just as importantly, her material and spiritual experience of the landscape. “I do this to create a more honest image,” says Johnson. “To show not just what I saw, but how I feel about what I saw.”
Work by Sarah Anne Johnson has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA; Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC; the 5th Biennale de Montréal; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, among numerous other institutions. She received her MFA at Yale University, after earning her BFA from the University of Manitoba. Johnson was born in 1976 in Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, where she currently resides.