Part of the function of my blog is for myself to personally attempt to analyze contemporary art that had deeply impacted me, whether it be a recent exhibition or one I saw even a decade ago or more. In this case I was inspired by having seen a couple of the Neo Rauch shows at David Zwirner, recalling how unusual, strange, unique and sometimes hallucinatory the paintings by Neo Rauch were when I was there to inspect his pictures. I’ve read the small number of articles online that address his work – they speak of regressive imagery, of his speaking to the past through the present, of his ideologies conjuring up the most negative aspects and elements of the German DDR and the former Cold War East Germany . What they do not address is Rauch’s literal representation of image facture and disruption as historical breakthrough, of his impossible collages of space-time whereby he literally not merely juxtaposes two different scenic elements, but two or more completely different realms, where the sky of one world melds with the ground of a completely different world. At every point we deny understanding or knowing or even believing Rauch’s phenomenally complex and arresting narratives, yet at once we sense somewhere in ourselves that there is an unavoidable truth being told by these pictures, that they are visual records of historical episodes of the daily life of the former Eastern bloc, that they represent all that we never knew or knew but could not accept as the reality of a world where persons found alternative means to survive.
“Rauch forces us to slog through conservative language in order to reach meaning…”(Artfagcity)
Vincent Johnson during his recent art trip to London
please feel free to visit my website:
- Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – installation shot – 2
- Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – studio shot – 1 (Silver hand)
- Vincent Johnson – in my studio working on my Nine Grayscale Paintings
- Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – first stage of grayscale painting
Los Angeles based artist and writer Vincent Johnson
- Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – studio view of stage one of grayscale paintings drying
Vincent Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California 1997 and his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting 1986. He started out as a student in Pratt’s painting department. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was nominated for the Baum: An Emerging American Photographer’s Award in 2004 and for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007 and for the Art Matters grant in 2008, and in 2009 nominated for Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, Los Angeles. In 2010 he was named a United States Artists project artist. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art Slant and many other publications. His photographic works were most recently shown in the inaugural Pulse Fair Los Angeles. His most recent paintings were shown at the Beacon Arts Center in Los Angeles.