The Architectural Fantasy of Conceptual Artist Do-Ho Suh

Do-Ho Suh’s Conceptual Art sculptures

  • Artist Do-Ho Suh, known for his translucent fabrics sculptures, is currently the focus of two solo exhibitions in Asia. The first, at Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts, features a gargantuan replica of two homes the artist has previously lived in

  • The works were so large and complex that Suh employed a 3D scanning machine to ensure the dimensions were precise

  • Says Suh: ‘As you approach the gallery space my translucent piece is between the viewer and the longer view, so it becomes five homes-within-homes: my two inside; the museum; the palace; and then Seoul’

  • The life-sized work measures 12m x 15m; visitors can walk through the installation for a unique perspective on the artist’s personal space

  • Suh left no detail out of his deftly printed fabric

  • The vast space offered Suh a new context for the full-scale replica of his traditional Korean childhood home, suspended within a larger reproduction of his first apartment building in Providence

  • The translucent fabric highlights in brilliant colour the ‘invisible memory’ of our daily experiences at home

  • Suh opted for a translucent organza-like polyester, once used for traditional Korean summer wear, because of its low cost and availability

  • Concurrently, an exhibition of Suh’s work at Lehmann Maupin gallery in Hong Kong showcases his signature fabric sculptures of household items

  • ‘Specimen Series: 348 West 22nd Street, APT. New York, NY 10011, USA – Bathtub’, 2013, stands alone, illuminated from below

  • In the dark black exhibition space, ‘Specimen Series: 348 West 22nd Street, APT. New York, NY 10011, USA – Radiator’ (left), 2013 and ‘Specimen Series: 348 West 22nd Street, APT. New York, NY 10011, USA – Refrigerator’ (right), 2013, sit side by side as they would in the artist’s home

  • Along one wall, miniature objects from his ‘Specimen Series’ are showcased and ordered by colour

  • ‘Specimen Series: 348 West 22nd Street, APT. New York, NY 10011, USA – Toilet’, 2013

  • ‘Specimen Series: 348 West 22nd Street, APT. New York, NY 10011, USA – Stove’, 2013, also features in the Hong Kong show

  • A closer look at ‘Specimen Series: 348 West 22nd Street, APT. New York, NY 10011, USA – Medicine Cabinet’, 2013

Artist Do-Ho Suh, known for his translucent fabrics sculptures, is currently the focus of two solo exhibitions in Asia. The first, at Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts, features a gargantuan replica of two homes the artist has previously lived in

  • The life-sized work measures 12m x 15m; visitors can walk through the installation for a unique perspective on the artist’s personal space

  • designboom
    do ho suh presents specimen series at lehmann maupin

    original content
    do ho suh presents specimen series at lehmann maupin
    5

    do ho suh presents specimen series at lehmann maupin
    do ho suh specimen series: 348 west 22nd street, apt. new york, NY 10011, USA
    toilet, 2013
    polyester fabric, 32.8 x 21.3 x 28.1 inches 83.3 x 54.1 x 71.4 cm
    image © do ho suh courtesy the artist and lehmann maupin, new york and hong kong
    photo by taegsu jeon

    do ho suh
    lehmann maupin, hong kong
    november 14th, 2013 – january 25th, 2014

    korean artist do ho suh presents his first solo exhibition at lehmann maupin gallery in hong kong, a site-specific installation of sculptural artworks. the collection is a continuation of his new york specimen series, which designboom previously covered here, and consists of six life-size replicas of various household appliances from his personal apartment on west 22nd street in manhattan. a bathtub, toilet, medicine cabinet, radiator, kitchen stove and refrigerator are all structurally rendered in full-scale, using the artist’s signature polyester material. the near-translucent fabrications reveal each item’s inner workings, exposing the technical, semi-architectural framework of their build. the almost weightless wire structures are an extension of his study of themes surrounding cultural displacement, the establishment of relationships within new environments, and memories as both physical and metaphorical manifestations.


    do ho suh specimen series: 348 west 22nd street, apt. new york, NY 10011, USA
    bathtub, 2013
    polyester fabric, 13.4 x 59.1 x 30.1 inches 34 x 150.1 x 76.5 cm
    image © do ho suh courtesy the artist and lehmann maupin, new york and hong kong
    photo by taegsu jeon


    do ho suh specimen series: 348 west 22nd street, apt. new york, NY 10011, USA
    stove, 2013
    polyester fabric, 41.8 x 20.5 x 25.7 inches 106.2 x 52.1 x 65.3 cm
    image © do ho suh courtesy the artist and lehmann maupin, new york and hong kong
    photo by taegsu jeon


    do ho suh specimen series: 348 west 22nd street, apt. new york, NY 10011, USA
    refrigerator, 2013
    polyester fabric, 65.7 x 28.6 x 29.1 inches 166.9 x 72.6 x 73.9 cm
    image © do ho suh courtesy the artist and lehmann maupin, new york and hong kong
    photo by taegsu jeon


    do ho suh specimen series: 348 west 22nd street, apt. new york, NY 10011, USA
    medicine cabinet, 2013
    polyester fabric, 43.4 x 42 x 9.5 inches 110.2 x 106.7 x 24.1 cm
    image © do ho suh courtesy the artist and lehmann maupin, new york and hong kong
    photo by taegsu jeon


    do ho suh specimen series: 348 west 22nd street, apt. new york, NY 10011, USA
    radiator, 2013
    polyester fabric, 36.8 x 29.4 x 7.2 inches 93.5 x 74.7 x 18.3 cm
    image © do ho suh courtesy the artist and lehmann maupin, new york and hong kong
    photo by taegsu jeon

    Suh left no detail out of his deftly printed fabric

When I first saw this phenomenal sculpture by Korean born, brilliantly educated Conceptual Artist  Do-Ho Suh, it conjured several powerful images – from that of the artist who is intellectually positioned to speak to power by inhabiting it from the top down, to recognizing that the “little people” or the masses under his feet that also appear to be human shadows and simultaneously the moving platform in which this giant walks. It is a Proustian vision and one of Nietzche’s speaking down to those far below him from his Superman, superhuman position of power.

Do-Ho Suh’s Welcome mat relays how upon closer scrutiny, what appears to be a benign symbolic commercialized greeting, is in fact a representation of subordinated human bodies. The word Welcome is rendered in a way similar to the way marching bands hold up placards to create an image. Here the group is completely subsumed by the act of greeting one who will arrive who is able to realize real power. Vincent Galen Johnson in Los Angeles

Karma, by Do-Ho Suh

This sculpture by Do-Ho Suh is remarkable in its cross-cultural symbolic power. The individual – in this case represented by their American soldier style dog tags, is subsumed into the larger group – in this case that of a royal armored flowing metal garment that speaks directly of its regal position and formidable power.

Doormat/Welcome (polyurethane rubber)

Do Ho Suh 01 Do Ho Suh Sculptures

These identical rows of black military style jackets in identical sizes and rows operates like a formalist grid. The jackets represent the uniform and uniformity of the wearer of the garments, signally group order as a form of uninhibited militarized power.

Photography: Lehmann Maupin Gallery

do you discuss your work with other artists?
not in the sense of the turn of the century european

tradition, proust’s gatherings and all of the paris salons.
I do have a few people, a few artists in new york, or in
seoul, that i discuss my work with. (Design Boom)

Do Ho Suh Bridging Home, 2010

“Do Ho Suh has literally and physically transported a piece of Korea into a Northern English City. The Korean style house is a reconstruction or replica of a home from a past era, a distant memory.”

.Do Ho Suh
Home Within HomeGlass Floor Supported By 180,000 Figures

Glass Floor Supported By 180,000 Figures

Artist Do Ho Suh talks about his role in SAM exhibit (excerpted)

By Robert Ayers

Special to The Seattle Times

Do Ho Suh

Korean-born, and now working primarily between Seoul, New York and London, artist Do Ho Suh jokes that he spends so much time traveling that his real home might actually be aboard an airplane. Yet this “global artist” declares a special affection for our city. ”

In Korean culture, he explains, people believe that “things don’t happen by accident. Things are meant to happen.”

external image 01.jpg
.

external image hayward+do-ho+suh+01.jpg
Image 3 http://www.designboom.com
Title: The perfect home II
Medium: Nylon Fabric and stainless steel tube
Dimensions: Variable
“One of Do-Ho Suh’s best known pieces is The Perfect Home II (image 3). It is made out of a translucent nylon fabric and is sewn together in a traditional Korean style. It is a replication of his New York apartment. The apartment is made out of an ice blue material, the adjoining corridor is made in a pink, and the stairs are a greenish white. This color change was done to promote the viewer’s admiration of Suh’s attention to detail. He has crafted light switches, plumbing fixtures and even the Philips-head screws on the door hinges. What is missing though is furniture, books and stuff of daily life.”

external image 04.jpg

This silky cloth see-through version of a triumphal arch seems to stand in for the symbolic reality of the actual architectural product from which it is derived. It too is a form of ghost of the real and a form of memory realized in airy light and transparent cloth.

external image 05.jpg

Image 4 and 5 http://www.designboom.com
Title: Reflection
Artist(s): Do-Ho Suh
Medium: Nylon Fabric and stainless steel tube

“The installation Reflection (image 4 and 5) is another installation utilizing the same techniques that were used to create The Perfect Home II. This work is a large-scale installation at the Hermes Gallery in Tokyo. It consists of two gates made from translucent nylon fabric that are separated by a translucent fabric “floor”, creating the illusion of a reflection. The gate is a replication of the gate to his childhood home in South Korea.”

external image 15.jpg
Image 6
Title: Floor
Medium: PVC figures, Glass plates
Dimensions: Variable

“Another installation of Suh’s is his Floor (image 6). This installation was shown for the Venice art Biennial in 2001 in the Italian Pavilion. It is made up of thousands of two-inch tall plastic human figures that are supporting a thick piece of glass, which viewers were encouraged to walk on. In this, and a number of other pieces by Suh, the notion of collective strength is addressed, and the importance of each individual in order to achieve success in underlined.”

external image 06.jpg

external image 07.jpg

Image 7 and 8 http://www.designboom.com
Title: Screen
Medium: PVC figures
Dimensions: Variable


do-ho suh in his seoul studio note the prototype for the ‘some/one’ piece right,
to the left of the photograph you can see many japanese collectible model kits
image © designboom

Feature

WSJ. Magazine 2013 Art Innovator

Artist Do Ho Suh Explores the Meaning of Home

From three-dimensional fabric sculptures of his parents’ house in Korea to an intimate drawing of his New York studio, WSJ. Magazine’s Art Innovator of 2013 investigates the idea of home—and what it means to belong in the 21st century

Nov. 6, 2013 7:42 p.m. ET

Do Ho Suh Photography by James Mollison

AFTER KOREAN-BORN artist Do Ho Suh moved to London a few years ago to be with his wife, he missed his adopted home of New York. He kept a 500-square-foot live-in studio there, in a former sailors’ dorm in Chelsea, and began to contemplate ways of memorializing it. Many of Suh’s most famed sculptures had reimagined his homes—in translucent fabric or resin, or as a painstakingly detailed, oversize dollhouse—from his childhood in Seoul and his young adulthood in the United States. This time, though, he wanted to make a drawing. Except Suh was not content to sit in a chair with a pad and pencil and render what he saw. Instead, he covered every inch of the interior—walls, floors, ceiling, refrigerator, window air conditioner—with paper, then rubbed with a blue-colored pencil, the way a child might preserve the memory of a leaf in the fall.

Photos: Home Away From Home

Click to view slideshow. © Do Ho Suh, Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Visual Artist Do Ho Suh is WSJ. Magazine’s Art Innovator of the Year.

“Rubbing is a different interpretation of space. It’s quite sensuous—very physical and quite sexual,” says Suh, wearing a T-shirt and shorts on a late summer day in his London studio. “You have to very carefully caress the surface and try to understand what’s there.”

That dictum could easily apply to the entirety of Suh’s oeuvre, which has explored the varying meanings of space, from the smallest territory we occupy—our clothing—to our homes and homelands. Issues of memory, history, displacement, identity and the body all come into play. In an age of exponentially increasing globalization, Suh’s consideration of what it means to belong strikes a nerve. His almost uncanny ability to hit these major touchstones of our time—and do it with the lyricism of a poet—has made him one of the most internationally in-demand artists of his generation.

Suh has fashioned a monumental emperor’s robe from thousands of soldiers’ dog tags and precariously perched a fully furnished house on the edge of a roof seven stories up. He has used his personal history of wearing uniforms—from schoolboy to soldier—as the basis for a self-portrait, and set an army of tiny figurines under a glass floor, inviting viewers to walk on the artwork without necessarily even realizing it. In Suh’s mind, it all has the same origin: “Everything starts from an idea of personal space—what is the dimension of personal space,” says Suh. “What makes a person a person, and when does a person become a group? What is interpersonal space—space between people?”

“The whole approach is quite rich,” says Rochelle Steiner, professor at the USC Roski School of Fine Arts, who is working on a book about Suh’s drawings. “He’s been very, very inventive.”

With a boyishly round face and a playful grin, Suh looks younger than his 51 years by a decade, but he exudes the seriousness of a veteran artist. It’s a disposition he knows well: His father, Suh Se-ok, is a well-regarded abstract painter in Seoul. After secondary school, the younger Suh had hoped to become a marine biologist, but with a poor math score standing in his way, he applied to art school at the last minute and was accepted. He studied traditional Korean painting before following his first wife, a Korean-American grad student, to the states in 1991. The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) was the only American art school to accept him, and though he’d already earned a master’s degree in Seoul, RISD insisted he enter as a sophomore. Still, immigrating alleviated some of the pressure of being his father’s son. “I felt relieved when I went to the states,” he says. “I felt much more freedom. I realized the danger of having a father like mine—he’s going to always come up—but in the U.S. my father is nobody.”

Asked how his father regards his success, Suh says, “I’m not sure if he feels proud of me. I don’t know if he feels competition. He doesn’t show those things.”

Fallen Star, 2012, is a 70-ton house awkwardly perched on the roof of the engineering school at the University of California, San Diego. Fallen Star, 2012, Steel-frame house, concrete foundation, brick, chimney, garden, lawn chairs, table, hibachi-style grill, birdbath and birdhouse, installation at Stuart Collection, San Diego, Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittemann, Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

At RISD, Suh couldn’t get into the classes he most wanted to take and ended up enrolling in The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture. “It changed the course of my life,” Suh says, adding that the professor, Jay Coogan, “is responsible for my becoming a sculptor.” Presented with the first assignment—use clothing to consider the human condition—Suh delved into ideas about the body, a topic that was taboo in Korea. Around the same time, the Rodney King riots erupted in Los Angeles, and news images of armed Korean immigrants protecting their stores made Suh think for the first time about how non-Koreans perceived his ethnic group. His classmates, he recalls, all younger than he, related neither to the immigrant experience nor to the mandatory military training that every Korean man, himself included, must endure.

WSJ Magazine 2013 Innovators

Fastening thousands of army dog tags to a military jacket, Suh created his first major sculpture: Metal Jacket. The modern-day coat of armor touched on many of the themes—personal space; the tension between the individual and the group; the inevitable culture clashes that arise with human migration—that continue to preoccupy his work, and it also became the prototype for Some/One, the imposing robe made of dog tags. From a distance, the viewer sees each sculpture as a single silvery surface. Only upon closer inspection does it register as a mosaic of dog tags, each representing an individual soldier.

Coogan, now the president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, recalls his reaction to Metal Jacket: “Oh my gosh! His work was so fantastic. It was ambitious in scale and in the kind of global ideas he was working with.” Coogan, who has remained close to Suh, adds, “Do Ho is exploring issues of what divides us and what unites us as human beings.”

In 1997, Suh scored a prestigious two-person show at New York gallery Gavin Brown’s Enterprise before earning an MFA from Yale and moving to Manhattan. As he continued to exhibit new work, his hauntingly powerful pieces about the nature of home quickly gained notice. He made versions of his parents’ house in Seoul—a traditional slope-roofed hanok, quite out of style when his father commissioned a former carpenter at the royal palace to build it from reclaimed wood in the 1970s—in dreamy fabric, suspended from a gallery ceiling. “It has an interesting narrative,” he says of his childhood house. “But then, every building, every space, has that. It’s just not told.”

“Do Ho is exploring issues of what divides us and what unites us as human beings.”

——Jay Coogan

Using fabric gave the pieces a ghostlike quality. Viewers were invited to enter some of the installations, heightening the sensation of being in a home, or the memory of one. Suh recalls how his brother, an architect, was disconcerted to see strangers wandering under a version of their family home at a 2000 exhibition at New York’s P.S. 1 museum.

Fallen Star 1/5 (2008–11), one of his best-known works, takes a more solid model of that hanok and crashes it through the wall of a carefully furnished, dollhouse-like re-creation of the apartment building where he lived in Providence. Contrary to most viewers’ assumptions, his various home pieces are not exact replicas. “It’s intrinsically impossible to make them exact,” he says. “I wanted to achieve something intangible. It’s about memory, time spent in the space.”

In addition to exploring ideas about culture shock, Suh’s works can have a sense of humor—a house teetering on a roof seems to be winking at The Wizard of Oz—and also a sense of loss. There is, of course, the rubble of the walls in Fallen Star 1/5, but even in a dog tag piece, viewers are left wondering what happened to the tags’ owners, since only in death does a soldier part with the metal identification. Net-Work (2010), which was installed on a Japanese beach for the Setouchi International Art Festival, looks like a fishing net from a distance; only up close is it clear that Suh constructed it from scores of shiny figurines, each one’s arms and legs outstretched to another’s in the shape of an X. The piece was shown during typhoon season, and though the organizers insisted on securing it, Suh would have been content to see it wash away with the tide. “I thought it would be a beautiful thing to happen to the piece—nature comes and takes my piece away, takes it to the ocean, and the work disappears.”

Says his longtime friend and fellow artist Janice Kerbel : “The works in a way are like him—they’re these very gentle things, almost like specters. There’s something ethereal about Do Ho—he doesn’t seem to belong to the place he’s in.”

In 2010, Suh moved to London to join his second wife, Rebecca Boyle Suh, a British arts educator. Their first daughter was born soon after; their second followed this past summer. “I’ve been following my loves,” Suh says of his continent hopping, adding with a laugh, “it was never a career move.” If anything, London has been tougher to adjust to than the United States. “Things are so different here. I feel like it’s a completely different language, mentality and humor. I miss a lot of American values—like being straightforward and more relaxed.”

His life in London revolves around family. He is not one to join the art world social scene. “His commitment to his practice is so intense,” says Kerbel, who is also based in London. “He’s a quiet person and keeps very much to himself. He needs that time to be alone and in his head.”

“I wanted to achieve something intangible. It’s about memory, time spent in the space.”

——Do Ho Suh

Suh maintains an international practice, taking intercontinental trips two to three times per month, including frequent stints in Korea, where the fabric pieces are sewn. Much of Suh’s sculpture is site-specific, and even when it isn’t, it’s still context-specific. “I have to anchor myself to the context—the physical site or history,” he says. When he was asked to make a piece for South Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which is opening a new branch in Seoul this month, Suh considered the location of the museum itself—the site of the former palace—and the gallery the piece will be installed in, an expansive room called the Info-Box that has a view of the palace’s last remains. In response, he created Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home, a small hanok completely encapsulated by Suh’s first American home in Providence. The extra three “homes” in the title refer to the museum, the palace complex and Seoul. At a scale of 1:1, it is the largest fabric sculpture by volume he has ever made.

Also on his immediate agenda: his first drawings show, at Lehmann Maupin’s two New York galleries. Slated for September 2014, the dual exhibition will feature excerpts from his Rubbing Projects. (One of the pieces is so big the gallery cannot accommodate the full structure.) Says Steiner, “I’ve never seen anybody use paper and line in such a multifaceted way.”

Suh is also making a video-performance piece that considers cooking as a type of personal space: He plays the host of a TV show, with his mother, as the chef, teaching him a recipe. He has recently taken on more architectural assignments as well, conceiving the Korean gallery for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and is in discussions to design an actual house in the UK, the details of which are still under wraps. “As my career has developed, you have more opportunities,” Suh says. “That’s the great thing about getting old.”

There is an often-overlooked political undercurrent to Suh’s work. For the 2012 Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, for example, Suh recalled the massacre of civilians that followed a protest there in 1980. “News was censored, so we didn’t know what was going on,” Suh says. “When I read the newspaper it was a patch of blanks—that never left me. When school started we students heard what happened in Gwangju from students who were there. Everything was fragmented. I was living only four hours away and didn’t understand what was happening—it made me think about the problems of writing history.”

In response, Suh made rubbings of three spaces around the city. “That’s a lot of rubbing,” he laughs. He and his crew wore blindfolds for one of the rubbings, both as a means of intensifying the already tactile experience of an unfamiliar place and as a metaphor. “I didn’t want to pretend to know about Gwangju,” he says, offering the analogy of tourists visiting a city’s standard landmarks. “You don’t pay attention to the space between the landmarks, and the way we look at history is the same—we only remember the so-called important historical events.”

Therein, Suh says, lies his challenge as an artist. “It’s an existential question of what we believe in this world—there are a lot of holes, but we try to believe it’s whole, the way a lot of people see the house [sculpture] as an exact replica. There’s a lot of rupture and gap. The role of the artist is to see those ruptures.”

=========

Vincent Johnson: The October Paintings

October Painting 1 and 2, Los Angeles, California by Vincent Johnson

The October Painting 1 and 2, Los Angeles, California by Vincent Johnson

The October Paintings - numbers 3 and 4

The October Paintings – numbers 3 and 4 – The October Paintings (a new paintings project by Los Angeles based artist Vincent Johnson) – the paintings are at the underpainting stage. They will be allowed to dry in my studio and then a layer of white glaze will be added. That will dry. Then I will work on each work, layer by layer, allowing each layer to dry, or be worked or added to as I desire. Our car Roxy is in the background, her back arched as she defies a mushroom to move.

October Paintings 3 and 4 - three of three

The October Paintings (a new paintings project by Los Angeles based artist Vincent Johnson) – paintings 3 and 4. Taking advantage of the fabulous weather in LA.

October Paintings 3 and 4 - two of three

The October Paintings – paintings 1 and 2 (a new paintings project by Los Angeles based artist Vincent Johnson) – with our cat Roxy playing in the back yard.

October Paintings 5 and 6, underpainted on October 31, 2013. Van Nuys, CA

October Paintings 5 and 6, underpainting – layer one – October 31, 2013. Van Nuys, CA

October Paintings 5 and 6.on 11.01.13 no .3 October Paintings 5 and 6.on 11.01.13

The October Paintings, 2013, under painting layers, Los Angeles, California, by Vincent Johnson

The October Paintings, 2013, paintings one and two, under painting layers, Los Angeles, California, by Vincent Johnson

The October Paintings (a new paintings project by Los Angeles based artist Vincent Johnson)

The October Paintings – paintings one and two (a new paintings project by Los Angeles based artist Vincent Johnson)

The October Paintings are comprised of nine 4×4 foot oil on canvas paintings. These are the largest canvases I’ve worked on since my return to painting after two decades of working with photography. I was trained as a representational painter at Pratt Institute and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My graduate degree is in critical theory and painting from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The works are a continuation of my exploration of the history of art materials, combined with using the layering techniques of representation to create singular new abstractions. This is my first time working on several large-scale canvases at once. What I’ve noticed over the years is that every significant work I’ve made eventually finds its way into the world, often through unanticipated opportunity.  The works are visceral, visually rich, emotively engaging. They follow the six large-scale paintings in the COSMOS SUITE that is also ongoing and was started in 2012, and the NINE GRAYSCALE PAINTINGS in LOS ANGELES that I completed in 2011. In my work I have always sought to reach for and produce imagery that lends itself to a serious consideration of the ideas that come to the mind when approaching the image. For me these works seek to substantiate themselves in the world, to be both evocative and provocative, beautiful and remarkable in both concept and realization. As these works are fully developed I will continue to record the journey am taken on with them, until they are complete.

OCTOBER PAINTING - Scumble glazing, second phase of the paintings.

OCTOBER PAINTING – Scumble glazing, second phase of the paintings.

 october-paintings-scumble-glazed-and-drying-in-studio.

October Paintings – scumble glazed and drying in studio.

During the scumble glazing layer of the painting, where I knock down the underpainting colors so that the next layers can deliver a fabulous punch, I thought about the magnificient, enormous paintings I saw this summer at the Menil Collection in Houston, by Cy Twombly and Mark Rothko. The high seriousness of Rothko’s chapel paintings was amazing. Yet on that day it would be my discovery of the excellence of Cy Twombly as a painter of the primordial and playful sublime that captivated my attention in his purpose built stand alone large gallery space that showcased his work far beyond the circular swirls I know but care nothing for at all. It seems that when Twombly switched to specific subject matter – whether it be abstract landscape paintings, where he had simply marvelous deep rich green works, or his overall giant abstractions, filled with playful and powerful singular and exciting moments, both satisfied in wonderful ways. I was fortunate to make two trips to Houston this summer. The Late Byzantine to Today was a marvel to behold; I also had no idea that the Menil is a world class repository of Surrealist art. I was also privileged to see the James Turrell retrospective at the MFA Houston, which itself will be expanding soon with a major new building devoted to modern and contemporary art. The Menil Collection itself will be adding seven new individual artist showcase galleries, which combined with their traveling shows will make Houston as important a center for seeing art as anywhere in the US outside of New York. I am looking at the nine 4×4 foot October paintings in my studio. Its the largest body of work I have ever produced as a painter. I can see so many possibilities in this new direction. It gives me reason to continue to push to get my work into the world, despite all of the difficulties I have experienced. Painting makes me see beyond my own being.

Vincent Johnson

Los Angeles, CA

Vincent Johnson: CV

Vincent Johnson received his MFA in Fine Art Painting from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California 1997 and his BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was selected 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 for the 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 and Art Slant, and in over fifty differen publications in total. His photographic works were shown in the inaugural Pulse Fair Los Angeles. He has shown recently at Soho House (curated by ForYourArt, Los Angeles) and at Palihouse (curated by Los Angeles Nomadic Division), West Hollywood, and most recently in Photography 2013 at Another Year in LA gallery, West Hollywood. Johnson’s work has appeared in numerous venues, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (Freestyle (2001, The Philosophy of Time Travel, 2007, and The Bearden Project, 2011-2012), PS1 Museum, SK Stiftung, Cologne; Santa Monica Museum of Art, LAXART, Las Cienegas Projects; Boston University Art Museum; Kellogg Museum, Cal Poly Pomona; Adamski gallery of Contemporary Art, Aachen; Lemonsky Projects, Miami. His work has been published in over a dozen exhibition catalogs. He is currently working on a series of self published photography books that will focus on the U.S. cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland, Ohio, Miami, Florida and New Orleans. Johnson is also creating abstract paintings for his Cosmos Suite, that explores the practice of painting with the knowledge of historical painting practices. He is using the techniques of representation to create remarkable works of abstract art. At Beacon Arts Center, Los Angeles, he recently exhibited an entire suite of grayscale paintings. In the Spring of 2013, he exhibited a series of edgy photographic works at Another Year in LA gallery, West Hollywood, California. His work will be exhibited in the inaugural Open Project exhibition at the Palace of the Inquisition, Evora, Portugal, opening July 15, 2013.

Vincent Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

vincentjohnsonart@gmail.com

http://www.vincentjohnsonart.com

New Abstract Paintings: The Cosmos Suite 2012-2013

Hello

This is Vincent Johnson in Los Angeles.

Here are three new paintings are added to my Cosmos Suite of paintings 2.24.2013. These are the 7th, 8th and 9th paintings created in the Cosmos Suite. They are also the 4th, 5th and 6th large scale paintings in this body of work.

These Cosmos Suite paintings are created using various experiments in media and paint application. Johnson has done substantial research into the area of the history of painting materials and there use, and employs this knowledge in the production of his work.

There are now a total of nine paintings in the Cosmos Suite. Six of the nine paintings are thirty by forty inches in size. Three of the paintings – the originals in the suite, are twenty by twenty four inches in size. Each painting takes about a month to create as there is a three week drying time between the first and second layers of the painting. As the suite grows there will be additional sizes including larger works.

1A.artcat

Cosmos Suite: A Meeting Between Two Figures in Space

30×40 inches, oil on canvas by Vincent Johnson in Los Angeles (2013)

Poured Liquin in center of painting, added stripes of pure paint color to canvas, mixed with paint rags, dabbed till thick paint areas are leveled out.

Large areas of vertical yellow in painting. Layered canvas in thick paint in certain areas. Reminds me of seeing Gerhard Richter’s painting retrospective in London in the fall of 2011.

6A.artcat

Cosmos Suite: State and Grace

30×40 inches, oil on canvas by Vincent Johnson in Los Angeles

Used sponges on face of painting. Layered canvas in thick paint.

Poured Liquin in center of painting, added stripes of pure paint color to canvas, mixed with paint rags, dabbed till thick paint areas are leveled out.
Reminds me of Florida’s mysterious beauty

Shape is of Florida in part

with  matisse.artcat

Cosmos Suite: State and Grace – final – complete 2.25.2013

30×40 inches, oil on canvas by Vincent Johnson in Los Angeles (2013)

5B.artcat

Cosmos Suite: State and Grace – final – complete 2.25.2013

30×40 inches, oil on canvas by Vincent Johnson in Los Angeles (2013)

2A.artcat

 Cosmos Suite: Astral Melodies
30×40 inches, oil on canvas by Vincent Johnson in Los Angeles (2013)

used sponges on side and surface of the painting. used large brushwork. Layered canvas in paint.

Poured Liquin in between stripes of pure paint color to canvas, mixed with paint rags, dabbed till thick paint areas are leveled out. Started out with thick brush in corner to mix, abandoned this quickly.

Sensing jazz standards here – floating fields of opulent pure romantic color

Vincent Johnson received his MFA in Fine Art Painting from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California 1997 and his BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was selected 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 for the 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. His 2010 photo project – California Toilet, Filthy Light Switch, is in exhibition at Another Year in LA gallery in West Hollywood through early March 2013. His work has appeared in several venues, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (Freestyle (2001, The Philosophy of Time Travel, 2007, and The Bearden Project, 2011-2012), PS1 Museum, Queens, NY, SK Stiftung, Cologne, Germany, Santa Monica Museum of Art, LAXART, Las Cienegas Projects, Boston University Art Museum, Kellogg Museum, Cal Poly Pomona.
Below are some of the other paintings I have completed since returning to painting in the summer of 2011.
=
Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

New Abstract Paintings: The Cosmos suite (2012)

Golden Dream (2012), part of the Cosmos Suite of paintings

California Toilet, Filthy Light Switch (2010) by Vincent Johnson. Archival Epson print (Private Collection, Miami, Florida). I provided this image as I realized its clear similarity to Golden Dream, which I completed a week ago in my studio in Los Angeles.

Two at Night (2012) from the Cosmos suite of paintings, Oil on canvas, 30×40 inches

Cosmos. Oil on canvas  2012 by Vincent Johnson

Cosmos Red Yellow Green. Oil on canvas 2012 by Vincent Johnson

Green God. Oil on canvas 2012 by Vincent Johnson

This new painting series is part of my ongoing exploration of painting materials and techniques from the history of painting. The works combine knowledge of painting practices of both abstract and representation paintings. The works concern themselves purely with the visual power that paintings can do through the manipulation of paint. Some of the underpaintings are allowed to dry for months; some of those are built dark to light, others light to dark. None are made in a single setting. Most are worked and reworked using studio materials. Each new series takes a different approach to the painted surface from how the paint is applied, to varying the painting mediums. This suite concerns itself with the layering of paint by building up the surface and altering and reworking the wet paint with studio tools.

Two larger paintings will be completed and photographed on Sunday, July 15, 2012 and posted here.

Vincent Johnson, Grayscale painting: The Storm (2012). Oil on canvas, 30×40 inches, created in studio in Los Angeles, California

Vincent Johnson, Grayscale painting, Snow White/White Snow (2012). Oil on canvas, 30×40 inches, created in studio in Los Angeles

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

Vincent Johnson, Nine Grayscale Paintings, Beacon Arts Center, Los Angeles, (2001). Oil on canvas. Each panel is 20×24 inches.
photograph of silver paint on my hands in studio, Los Angeles, during the creation of Nine Grayscale paintings.
Vincent Johnson – in Los Angeles studio working on Nine Grayscale Paintings, 2011

Vincent Johnson

Los Angeles, California

=====

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
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – studio view of stage one of grayscale paintings drying

Los Angeles based artist and writer Vincent Johnson
http://www.vincentjohnsonart.com
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.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: