Bearden Time, Collage for The Bearden Project – Studio Museum in Harlem

Bearden Time, cutout collage by Vincent Johnson (2011). This work was created in my studio in September of 2011 for the Studio Museum in Harlem's "The Bearden Project." I researched into how Romare Bearden created his magnificent collages, then decided to use some of his techniques combined with those of my own. Bearden would score, scratch, and cut into his images. The large red central figure in this work was created using a type of paper that I had used over 15 years ago to create portraits by removing the shiny slick color surface with an exacto knife. I also used the knife's point to draw into the paper and remove some of the materials. It felt good getting back to some of the work I had done well into my past but had stopped. In this instance I did not want to do an overall collage that used every part of the surface. I wanted to convey something of the mood of New York when I was a student, and had heard that Romare Bearden had a studio on Canal Street. I imagined it was not far away from Pearl Paint.

Here is my Bearden Time collage standing up while I photograph it with my iphone to be able to send an image to the museum of the completed work. I used everything from soap to wet clothes to brillo pads to work the surface. I fixed the images to the paper using Nova Gel. I then painted completely over each image with the NOVA GEL to force the photo paper to adhere to the paper's surface. The outer photos are created by doing a doll-like cutout from a magazine, then I cut into the printed photo papers using the cutout as a basic guide but allowing me to go in any direction I so choose.

Vincent Johnson, Bearden Time (2011), The Bearden Project, Studio Museum in Harlem. The exhibition will be at the Studio Museum for four months!

It was fun doing this piece and it has inspired me to do several more. I had already done a few montages starting in 2008 using found images. Using Bearden’s techniques opened the door for me to use my oldest skill sets that are now coming back into my work as never before. In September of this year I produced my first body of new paintings in well over a decade. And they are abstract grayscale paintings, something that I would have never done in the past. I’ve been working with photography over the past decade and produced one large-scale sculptural work based on a 12 foot long 1950’s Chrysler Air Raid Siren and was part of a five artist team that created a 58 foot long sculptural simulation of Brancusi’s Endless Column crashing into the museum’s gallery.

If you’d like to check out more of my work go here to this link:

http://vincentjohnsonart.com/

Bearden Time, detail (1 of 4)

Bearden Time, detail (2 of 4)

Bearden Time, detail (3 of 4)

Bearden Time, (4 of 4)

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Memories of Miami: Miami Basel Art Report 2009

Miami Basel 2009 was turned upside down by the opening of the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space building. It has 3 floors and 30,000 sq. feet of exhibition space. The collection has over 1,000 works.

Imagine: In 2008 Rosa de la Cruz said that she was opening a new museum in Miami to house her private collection. One year later it actually opened. While I was on the staircase to the second floor of her awesome space – free to all – with a 30,000 book art library – also free to all – Lisa Phillips of the New Museum walked upstairs past us with Ms. de la Cruz. Her new museum highlights the incredible achievements of many artists – but has a special space on the 3rd/top floor for Miami Born Latin Artists who became superstars in the artworld but have passed away. (Felix Gonzalez Torres and Ana Mendieta). With the Rubell’s 40,000 volume art library, Miami has one of the most important set of contemporary art libraries in the country.

The museum is in Miami’s white hot Design District, and will be joined in 2012 by the 40,000 sq. ft. Craig Robins Collection building. We had dinner at 8:45PM Saturday night at Fratelli Lyon, one of the Design District’s top restaurants. The restaurant was packed. When we left at midnight it was still packed and more people were coming in to enjoy themselves. The architect John Marquette owns the restaurant and is the designer of the de la Cruz space. Boutique hotels are planned for the area. Boutique stores are flooding in from across the globe. Several new restaurants are opening soon. Miami and Miami Beach have made it a habit to launch new restaurants and lounges in time for the next Baselmania.

With the Eugenio Lopez Collection also on display at the Bass Museum, Latin pride was in the house in Miami big time. There were Latin and Black guides, even to direct you to the restrooms! There was free luxury coffee service on the patio of the de la Cruz space.

On Saturday we visited the Margulies Warehouse was only partially rehung from the previous year, a first. They had a haunting George Segal work entitled Breadline on display.

New World Symphony building, Miami Beach, opens 2010

Frank Gehry’s New World Symphony campus under construction 11/23/08

Miami just opened a new bar called the Democratic Republic of Beer, with 400 different selections. Miami has a brand new concert hall, opera house and dance showcase. Miami Beach will open the Frank Gehry designed New World Symphony concert hall in 2010, giving Miami TWO major new concert halls. Because of the attention given to the other major Miami art collectors, Major collector Beth de Woody, of Palm Beach/NYC, is now planning her own blowout art museum space. Miami’s Norman Braman is considering a building as well. He owns over a billion in Modern and Contemporary Art. The Rubell Family Collection has over a thousand more works of art than LA MOCA, which has over 5,000 works. There were no serious restaurants in the Design District in Miami a five years ago. Across the street from the de la Cruz building is a dead apartment building that looks like it washed up in a hurricane. I doubt it will be there in two years.

de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space


http://accessibleartny.com (photo credits)

Felix Gonzales-Torres and Jim Hodges (both who were at Pratt Institute during the early 1980’s) at the de la Cruz art space.

http://accessibleartny.com (photo credits)

a Jonathan Meese room

http://accessibleartny.com (photo credits)

a Guyton/Walker installation

http://accessibleartny.com (photo credits)

Jumex Collection at the Bass Museum

Gabriel Orozco’s Pool Table

http://accessibleartny.com (photo credits)

When we arrived at the Bass Museum, the New York Times was there photographing the Eugenio Lopez Collection. The Dzine Ghost Bike was sensational in the project space.

Private Collections @ Miami (via artcorporationblogspot.com)

Alexandre Arrechea at Margulies Foundation

Margulies Foundation

Cinsneros-Fontanals Foundation (CIFO)


Muntean/Rosenblum at Cisneros-Fontanals Foundation

Re the Video works at MOCA North Miami. Stellar works done by master storytellers. This is the second time we’ve seen a blowout show of video only works that were absolutely hypnotic. The first was at the CIFO in Miami in 2005. That still is the best video art exhibition I have ever seen anywhere in the U.S. The best I have ever seen was a massive stunning history of film and video at the Pompidou in Paris in 2006.

Jason Rhoades in the Rubell Family Collection

lmgreen & Dragset in the  Rubell Family Collection

Maurizio Cattelan in the Rubell Family Collection

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We spent over seven hours looking at work in the half million square foot display that was 2009’s Art Basel Miami Beach. Because of this experience of total immersion into absolute quality, it was difficult to appreciate most of what was at Aqua and Pulse and NADA, each of which we spent but an hour or so visiting. We missed Art Miami, Photo Miami and Scope this year despite being in town 5 days.

NADA

Cool as fuck lounge areas in a retro-fun hotel on 67th and Collins ave. in Miami Beach. 1950’s Vegas on the South Florida coast. For the first time we realized that the Westwood area of LA was similar in layout, but far smaller in scale relative to what seems to be several miles of coast lining condos and apartments and hotels built at mid century in Miami Beach. The nondescript restaurant and lounge across the street from NADA was overflowing onto the sidewalk even as the evening sun gave way to nightfall. Bad at Sports was podcasting from NADA to their home base of Chicago. I’m looking forward to checking out the interviews online.

On Wednesday night, we attended the free Art Loves Music concert, featuring the fireball Londoner Ebony Bones. This evening concert that was held on the sand of Miami Beach at 10PM about 200 feet from the ocean. It was absolutely incredible. The glow from the open door of a truck parked on the beach was mesmerizing. In all past years this concert was for Basel VIPs only. This year there were dozens of  Basel concerts everywhere, at the fairs, at the clubs, on the streets. This year the Basel VIP’s were next door in the new W Hotel South Beach, built on the land of the demolished Holiday Inn.

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Lots of live entertainment arrived from out of town, as usual. This year’s hottest ticket was for The Box at Nikki Beach, a hot as hell burlesque performance space from the Lower East Side of New York.

The Box VIP Party 11PM-1AM

Doors will open at 11pm and the show will commence shortly thereafter.
The late night show is bottle service only and will turn up the heat with their performance. Bottle service packages are available for parties of 2,4,6,8, and 10. VIP packages provide premium seating centered on or around the stage.
Listed prices do not include tax and gratuity.

PARIS NIGHTCLUB LEBARON AT THE DELANO HOTEL MIAMI BEACH 2009

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Goldman Warehouse

“Back in December of 2005, father and son developer duo Tony and Joey Goldman, who’ve had their hand in fostering growth and revitalization in the Wynwood area for some years now, donated the 14,000 square foot space.” The Goldman Warehouse severed its ties with MOCA North Miami, and will now go it alone as a big time project space. Francesco Clemente’s 180 foot long magisterial watercolor is currently on display. If the warehouse is curated in a compelling fashion it could become one of the most important spaces of its type in the U.S.

We attended the IT AIN’T FAIR opening just after dinner at Casale, one of Miami’s several new pizza spots. It was expensive. Parking was by valet for $10. The space was fashionable, the service superior, the waitstaff primarily from Italy. But the food made no impression on me at all as compared to the best pizza in LA (Mozza and Antica Pizza). Gang Gang Can Dance performed later in the week at this Miami alternative space that is the toy of a few New Yorkers, which may be over 10,000 square feet.

IT AIN’T FAIR 2009
Art Basel 2009
December 2 – 6, 2009
3100 NW 7 Avenue / Miami / Florida / 33127
8PM

“The second installment of It Ain’t Fair promises to be even more spectacular than our inaugural exhibition. Calling on our community for participation, we assembled an international group show comprised of over 30 artists that we feel are creating the most relevant work today including Rita Ackermann, Tim Barber, Lizzy Bougatsos, Scott Campbell, Julia Chiang, Barb Choit, Peter Chung, Brian Degraw, Ry Fyan, Cyprien Gaillard, Michael Genovese, Todd James, KAWS, Zak Kitnick, Terence Koh, Harmony Korine, Andrew Kuo, Nate Lowman, Adam Marnie, Megan Marrin, Santiago Mostyn, Neck Face, José Parlá, Erik Parker, Brad Phillips, Kenny Scharf, Aurel Schmidt, David Benjamin Sherry, Agathe Snow, Spencer Sweeney, Eric White, Bobbi Woods and Aaron Young.  Opening night will be highlighted by a special rooftop performance by French symphonic composer Koudlam alongside a jumbo-sized outdoor screening of Cyprien Gaillard’s Crazy Horse accompanied by explosions and visual effects.”

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The LA Artworld wants Basel to move to LA and is applying soft yet serious pressure to get it done. The city that for so long touted its artworld as coming into existence because it had no market, wants both global market access and control now through Basel, to go along with its position as a major production center for contemporary art. I envision that there literally will be a contest between the several Internationally connected Miami Billionaires/Art Collectors versus Eli Broad and the LA Artworld to get/keep Miami Basel. One of the chief reasons to go to Miami Basel is to see the newest selections of the private collections. The CIFO, World Class Boxing, the Rubell Family Collection, the Margulies Warehouse, and now the de la Cruz space. And the small but incredible museum shows, which this year included Miami Museum, the Bass Museum, and MOCA North Miami, which as I will say again because the works were so strong, had the best selection of world-class videos I have seen anywhere, equaled only by the 2005 video exhibition at the CIFO. Both the former Miami Art Central (MAC) building, and the Design District’s massive Moore Space are still standing and available to be used for exhibitions, as they were in earlier Miami Basels.

I might be wrong, but it was 80 degrees and balmy in Miami this past week, while it was in the 50’s/40’s in LA. Miami is closer to Brazil, Mexico, and Europe in terms of lifestyle and worldview than is LA. Miami is only one of two US cities that has a 5AM nightlife scene seven days a week. Miami/Miami Beach has virtually no traffic and loves staying up all night.

Miami’s airport has built two massive spectacular new wings in the past 3 years. Fort Lauderdale has gained so many luxury beachfront hotels as to be a world-class destination unto itself. And its airport is serviced by Virgin Atlantic. Let’s see whose fingers break first between the Miami and LA handshake re Basel. For the West Coast, Vegas is a far better place for an art fair of the caliber of Basel because of its caliber of restaurants and nightclubs, its low traffic, and it’s proximity to Los Angeles. LA could have a far greater presence at Miami Basel if it were closer to Los Angeles. Yet I cannot envision NYC loosening its grip on either Miami Beach or Miami Basel anytime soon. NYC’s media coverage is tall, wide and deep for Miami Basel, from Bloomberg News, the New York Times, New York Magazine, ArtForum, ArtInfo, ArtNet. The Miami newspapers, particulary Miami’s New Times, start bouncing off of the ceiling over Miami Basel and provide comprehensive local color and perspective on the scene. This is where it was reported this year about the fly-by-night galleries that set up in Miami during Basel, and about the extreme discontent of the local art community over their not getting Basel and the international artworld’s attention after even eight years of being there. It is there that the closure of galleries is reported, and the temporary reopening of galleries for Basel that have otherwise closed their Miami space, like Paris powerhouse Emanuel Perrotin gallery. The LA Artworld world love to be showered by the coverage of Basel in LA by the NYC and London media machines every December. So would many other cities that have similar and even lesser ambitions. I’m pretty sure that NYC would love it if Basel came to town, even if it meant that New Yorker’s wouldn’t be going to Miami Beach for a just before winter art holiday. My thinking is that the Armory Show should expand to Miami Basel time, and close up shop in New York. That would cause even more high-end galleries to come to Miami. That would give the NADA Art Fair some incredible competition. And it would keep the galleries in Miami that will be again pushed away once the galleries who did not do Basel this year want back in for 2010. It would also allow the Armory Show to go head to head with Art Basel, and move a huge market-based show away from the buzz of the Whitney Biennial and the Greater New York shows.

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Miami is the winter showcase for global contemporary art. Only a handful of Miami artists have risen with inbound Basel tide.

Miami media represented in 2009 that Miami realizes it is being used and not being invited to the big art party. Local art events continue to showcase Miami artists in more and more professional situations in an endless effort to capture the Basel audience. On Biscayne Boulevard there was a curated show of Miami artists selected by ten Miami local curators. In the Design District was a show in a quality design building of the handful of Miami artists who had reached the world stage through their Miami gallery representation. Many creative people in Miami are convinced that if they just ramp up their game that Basel will give them a full share at the artworld power table. Many others believe that they need to decamp to LA or NYC to have a fighting chance.

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Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles.

LANYArtiststudio@gmail.com

Biography July 2010Vincent Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at Las Cienegas Projects, LAXART, the P.S. 1. Museum, the SK Stiftung, Cologne, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Adamski Gallery of Contemporary Art, Aachen, the Sacramento Center for Contemporary Art, 18th Street Arts, Santa Monica and the Boston University Art Gallery. His photographic works engage both significant and neglected historical and contemporary cultural artifacts and is based on intensive research of his subjects. Upcoming is a group show at the Kellogg Museum of Cal Poly Pomona.

Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 1997. 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. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

LANYArtiststudio@gmail.com

Vincent  Johnson Artist Statement

Vincent Johnson’s work is a form of sustained cultural mining that explores the depths of his subjects. His photographic works created from 2001-2007 delved into architecture as fantasy, from the vernacular architecture of Los Angeles to that found throughout the American West. He has documented several of the no longer extant commercial vernacular structures in both South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that came into existence during the birth of long distance family travel by car. In 2007 he presented a fully fabricated work of sculpture – a 12 foot long six-foot high replica of a 1956 Chrysler Air Raid Siren. This project developed as he was both researching and documenting a former military corridor in the San Fernando Valley that included a retired military airfield. His newest photographic works, all created in 2008 and 2009, are large-scale photographic montages, each of which confront significant cultural figures and several dramatic signal events of Cold War era Western cultural history, including Television, the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Space program, American home-based bomb shelter  program, and Vietnam. He is working on large-scale photomontages of the several major American political figures of 1960’s, including Martin Luther King, the Kennedy family, and Malcolm X, as well the representations of both Communism and Capitalism, Hollywood and Los Angeles and many related Cold War era subjects. Johnson’s photomontages can take several months to create as he captures hundreds of images from online sources, before selecting those which most well index a particular historical moment, personage or event. The creative juxtapositions and scale shifts of the found images is what he most relies on to develop his potent and illuminating photographic works.

Vincent Johnson: Vernacular Architecture project (Los Angeles and Texas)

Booker's Del Hi

Vincent Johnson’s Artist statement from 2005 on Vernacular architecture project:

Ritz Motel in Living Color

My artistic practice is currently concerned with the production of an archive of digital photographic images of the remains of Los Angeles’ and Southern California’s vernacular architecture after the inception of the motel in the 1920’s through intriguing phase that delivered the fantasy of neon noir architecture of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Since the majority of this form of architectural history are in forlorn and neglected avenues of Los Angeles and beyond, I do not consider the project to be a form of cultural tourism, but an authentic investigation and concern that gives rise to a cultural document as history. On occasion I will also produce a photograph that documents the relationship between the 1950’s through the 1970’s car culture and California private residences.

Car and leaves

I work in Los Angeles, which has an exceptional amount of interesting architectural artifacts from the First World War period onwards. Many portions of the Los Angeles that I depict come into existence when New York was attempting to wrest the thorn crown of painting from Paris and succeeded. In the course of producing my photographic archive, I have employed strategies of production such as those used by the flaneur and the derive, in day and at night, by car and on foot, primarily in a stark and challenging urban territory, the Anti-City that is Los Angeles. Similarly, I have also allowed myself to merely wander through this world as the American artist that I am, and fall into pictures and spaces that call for documentation.

Hollywood station wagon

Neon Vacancy

It is my experience that driving a car in Los Angeles and seeing the world through its windows is a complex real-time cinematic event. There is a temporary encounter and an enduring intimacy through memory via the photographed subject – this produces the photograph, as versus a sustained relationship with a single but ever-changing street scene. Through auto travel one is given the privileged observer position of moving through the world as a real-time unedited film, a cinema-state; to take a number of photographs of it afterwards. Often, when I drive I look about and “remember” key images, photographs of urban sites from the mid-century and earlier that I will take pictures of in the future.

Poet's House

Despite the relative youth of Los Angeles cultural architectural properties from the mid-20th century and earlier, they are constantly vanishing from the physical landscape of the state, as the dead architecture and their signs are either demolished or their  elegant features are almost erased.  Part of my project is documentary in the recognition of this reality. At certain times and places in Southern California, merely by driving about, one can gain a very strong sense of the lifestyles of Los Angeles’ remarkable architectural past, in reinvented forms of openness to new possibilities, without external pressure, to fulfill the promise of the future.

Studio Self Storage

Vincent Johnson

Lake Balboa, California

4.12.05

The Five Signs of Deano's

Circus Liquor Parking Lot

Air-Conditioned Motel

Stein on Vine

Smashed Catalina

Painted Structure, Odessa

West Texas Ice Cream Parlor

Beach City Chevrolet

Copa West

Southern Gents Club

Furst Motel

Furst Motel

Vincent Johnson on his Vernacular architecture project, 2005

The nature and form of my work is investigative and analytical. Each photograph in my body of work combines a commanding visual poetics with a documentary and literary sensibility. Visual movement enthralls me. By degrees my eyes now take in photographs of the commercial vernacular architectural history of Los Angeles. My work is driven both by a radical reader’s intensity – which is, my profound desire to continue read and to know the world through its myriad night forms and daylight appearances. I am both an image-maker and producer of fiction and of fact, in language and in vision. My project is expansive and expanding, from the old interior corridors of the first avenues of Los Angeles, roaming outwards to the edge locals of the region – Riverside, San Bernardino County, San Diego.

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Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles. He has recently been named a 2010 United States Artists Project artist.

The USA site went live on December 7, 2010

My initial project is to fabricate a 3 foot tall doll house sized sculpture of the collapsed William Livingstone House in Detroit. The project description and a video presentation of the project are at the links provided here:
http://www.unitedstatesartists.org/user/vincentjohnson
http://www.unitedstatesartists.org/project/william_livingstone_house_detroit
Please feel free to review the site and to contact others who would be interesting in supporting the program and my project.
thanks so much
Vincent Johnson
Los Angeles, California
cell: 818:430.1604

===============================================

LANYArtiststudio@gmail.com

Biography July 2010
Vincent Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at Las Cienegas Projects, LAXART, the P.S. 1. Museum, the SK Stiftung, Cologne, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Adamski Gallery of Contemporary Art, Aachen, the Sacramento Center for Contemporary Art, 18th Street Arts, Santa Monica and the Boston University Art Gallery. His photographic works engage both significant and neglected historical and contemporary cultural artifacts and is based on intensive research of his subjects. Upcoming is a group show at the Kellogg Museum of Cal Poly Pomona, a one person show in Copenhagen, a one person show at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a one person show at Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles.
Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 1997. He studied with Mike Kelly, Jack Goldstein, Stephen Prina, Liz Larner, Chris Williams, Mayo Thompson (formerly of Art&Language), and Liz Larner. 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. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications.
LANYArtiststudio@gmail.com
Vincent  Johnson
Artist Statement
Vincent Johnson’s work is a form of sustained cultural mining that explores the depths of his subjects. His photographic works created from 2001-2007 delved into architecture as fantasy, from the vernacular architecture of Los Angeles to that found throughout the American West. He has documented several of the no longer extant commercial vernacular structures in both South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that came into existence during the birth of long distance family travel by car. In 2007 he presented a fully fabricated work of sculpture – a 12 foot long six-foot high replica of a 1956 Chrysler Air Raid Siren. This project developed as he was both researching and documenting a former military corridor in the San Fernando Valley that included a retired military airfield. His newest photographic works, all created in 2008 and 2009, are large-scale photographic montages, each of  which confront significant cultural figures and several dramatic signal events of Cold War era Western cultural history, including Television, the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Space program, American home-based bomb shelter  program, and Vietnam. He is working on large-scale photomontages of the several major American political figures of 1960’s, including Martin Luther King, the Kennedy family, and Malcolm X, as well the representations of both Communism and Capitalism, Hollywood and Los Angeles and many related Cold War era subjects. Johnson’s photomontages can take several months to create as he captures hundreds of images from online sources, before selecting those which most well index a particular historical moment, personage or event. The creative juxtapositions and scale shifts of the found images is what he most relies on to develop his potent and illuminating photographic works.

Vincent Johnson: Los Angeles exhibitions : Las Cienegas Projects (Los Angeles 2010) + Civil Air Defense Project – sculpture -at LAXART – 2007

Vincent Johnson at Las Cienegas Projects (Los Angeles) 1 of 6

This is documentation from the opening of my recent one-person exhibition Cold War Photomontages. (March – April 2010)

The Cold War Photomontages project is an extension of a another one-person show project I presented in Los Angeles in the spring of 2007 at LAXART.

The title of that show was Civil Air Defense Project # 1. It features a 12 by six foot long sculptural recreation of a 1956 Chrysler Air Raid Siren. That show received international press coverage and numerous reviews. In the fall of 2010 I will be presenting a new project at the Kellogg Museum at Cal Poly Pomona called Dreams of Technology, as part of a group exhibition entitled Crisscrossing.

I was told by the gallery director that several music industry executives at the opening showed a great deal of interest in the work. Las Cienegas Projects is an extremely energetic and lively artist run space in Los Angeles. It’s opening art packed with visitors, numbering well over 300 for each opening. Las Cienegas Project’s gallery directors Amy Thoner and Steven Hull have provided a superb venue for artists.There is 2,800 square feet in three gallery spaces. There is an artist bookstore in the front of the gallery. Many students from the LA art schools work as interns in the gallery, which has been in operation less than a year. The primary focus for the gallery has been work by good artists who are not getting exposure in Los Angeles in commercial galleries. Several of the shows have been reviewed, including the show I did, which got 2 excellent reviews. Canon Hudson’s show was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times. The gallery is listed as one of those to check out on For Your Arts website.

There are two online reviews of the show. They are posted below.

Vincent Johnson at Las Cienegas Projects (Los Angeles) 2 of 6

Vincent Johnson at Las Cienegas Projects (Los Angeles) 3 of 6

Vincent Johnson at Las Cienegas Projects (Los Angeles) 4 of 6

Vincent Johnson at Las Cienegas Projects (Los Angeles) 5 of 6

Vincent Johnson at Las Cienegas Projects (Los Angeles) 6 of 6

Reviews:

http://thenewgay.net/2010/04/millie-wilsonbari-zipersteinvincent-johnson-at-las-cienegas-projects.html

Vincent Johnson, American Cold War Shelters, 2008.

“Vincent Johnson presents five framed photographic montages (appropriately displayed in the bunker-like Back Room) created by mining the cultural history of the Cold War era. Much like Gerhard Richter’s Atlas, this suite of photographs lays bare the indexical nature of the photograph while calling it into question in our current digital age.

Gleaned from online sources, resized, and categorized, the montages speak to our fears while reaffirming the power of the vernacular image. Along with the building of the “military industrial complex” of Southern California, a simultaneous housing boom spurred the creation of suburbia. Especially in American Cold War Shelters, 2008, but in ABOMB (2nd Version), 2010 and Watching Television, 2010, the language (both linguistic and visual) of domestic anxiety is intelligently codified and presented by the artist.

These three solo shows come together to present the lingering power of the photographic image to operate on various intellectual levels.  The works are not to be read as simply nostalgic longings for an idyllic time or place; but more so, as critical engagements with history, domesticity and meaning.”

Las Cienegas Projects
2045 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
213-595-8017
Continues through April 24th

Frenchy But Chic (LA artworld blog)

“Speaking of good spaces that should be mentioned more often, the current show at Las Cienegas, featuring FBC! occasional collaborator Vincent Johnson is very good. I had a blast at the opening, and met people I hadn’t seen in about a decade, sure, but the space is magnificent and the curating interesting.”

Geoff Tuck’s Noes on Looking / ForYourArt / Los Angeles artworld blog

“All the way to the back now, turn right. Vincent Johnson in Cold War Montages shows us exactly what he promises: collections of historical photographs from the period mentioned. Sometimes these images repeat to nice effect, some you recognize and some you never even heard of. (To misquote Ray Davies and the Kinks and probably mis-attribute Johnson’s project.)

Hey – there’s plenty of interesting documentation along with a cool exhibition poster at the front desk – stop and say hello to Amy Thoner as you grab stuff on your way out!”

CIvil Air Defense Project # 1 reviews:

1956 Chrysler Air Raid Siren - Civil Air Defense Project # 1 - LAXART. 2007

Family Fallout Shelter using Department of Defense instructions - LAXART

Catherine Taft’s Saatchi on-line blog review: June 2007
Vincent Johnson: Civil Air Defense Project #1
Matt Lucero: Travelogue
LAXART
2640 South La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles 90034
Through July 7, 2007

At the non-profit, Culver City gallery, LAXART, two L.A. based artists, Vincent Johnson and Matt Lucero, offer sculptures that mirror SoCal experiences, past and present. Johnson’s “Civil Air Defense Project #1” recreates two cold-war era American defense mechanisms, a massive air-raid siren and a prefab underground bunker intended for any mid-century nuclear family. While Johnson’s reflects on the paranoia of our past, he intimates America’s current devices of fear and defense. Matt Lucero’s eight-foot tall abstract sculpture employs fetish finish on a monumental scale. The piece is accompanied by a sound installation mixed from fragmented movie scores creating a cinematic atmosphere and speaking to Los Angeles’ chief industry.

Daily Serving review 7.27.07

The recent works of Los Angeles-based artist Vincent Johnson expound upon his research of the American Cold War Civil Air Defense Program. Johnson focuses on forms related to the mechanics of this period. For example, the artist has a new site-specific sculptural installation currently on view at LAXART in Los Angeles called “Civil Air Defense Project #1.” For this installation, Johnson took the form of a Cold War Chrysler Air Raid Siren that was used in the ’50s to warn the public about upcoming air raids and used the device for formal experimentation and as a deceptive tool to comment on current social, political and military relations.

The show was a Critic’s Pick on Artforum.com. It was written about in WWD and several other publications. Ed Schad reviewed the show and listed it as the third best exhibition in Los Angeles in 2007.

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Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles. He has recently been named a 2010 United States Artists Project artist.

The USA site went live on December 7, 2010

My initial project is to fabricate a 3 foot tall doll house sized sculpture of the collapsed William Livingstone House in Detroit. The project description and a video presentation of the project are at the links provided here:
http://www.unitedstatesartists.org/user/vincentjohnson
http://www.unitedstatesartists.org/project/william_livingstone_house_detroit
Please feel free to review the site and to contact others who would be interesting in supporting the program and my project.
thanks so much
Vincent Johnson
Los Angeles, California
cell: 818:430.1604

LANYArtiststudio@gmail.com

Biography October 2010
Vincent Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at Las Cienegas Projects, LAXART, the P.S. 1. Museum, the SK Stiftung, Cologne, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Adamski Gallery of Contemporary Art, Aachen, the Sacramento Center for Contemporary Art, 18th Street Arts, Santa Monica and the Boston University Art Gallery. His photographic works engage both significant and neglected historical and contemporary cultural artifacts and is based on intensive research of his subjects. Upcoming is a group show at the Kellogg Museum of Cal Poly Pomona, a show at the University of California at Santa Barbara, an exhibition in Copenhagen, and a second one person show at Las Cienegas Projects in Los Angeles.

Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 1997. He studied with Mike Kelly, Jack Goldstein, Stephen Prina, Liz Larner, Chris Williams, Mayo Thompson (formerly of Art&Language), and Liz Larner. 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. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. S

See http://icallitoranges.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html Thoughts on a Year of Art

LANYArtiststudio@gmail.com

Vincent  Johnson Artist Statement

Vincent Johnson’s work is a form of sustained cultural mining that explores the depths of his subjects. His photographic works created from 2001-2007 delved into architecture as fantasy, from the vernacular architecture of Los Angeles to that found throughout the American West. He has documented several of the no longer extant commercial vernacular structures in both South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that came into existence during the birth of long distance family travel by car. In 2007 he presented a fully fabricated work of sculpture – a 12 foot long six-foot high replica of a 1956 Chrysler Air Raid Siren. This project developed as he was both researching and documenting a former military corridor in the San Fernando Valley that included a retired military airfield. His newest photographic works, all created in 2008 and 2009, are large-scale photographic montages, each of which confront significant cultural figures and several dramatic signal events of Cold War era Western cultural history, including Television, the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Space program, American home-based bomb shelter  program, and Vietnam. He is working on large-scale photomontages of the several major American political figures of 1960’s, including Martin Luther King, the Kennedy family, and Malcolm X, as well the representations of both Communism and Capitalism, Hollywood and Los Angeles and many related Cold War era subjects. Johnson’s photomontages can take several months to create as he captures hundreds of images from online sources, before selecting those which most well index a particular historical moment, personage or event. The creative juxtapositions and scale shifts of the found images is what he most relies on to develop his potent and illuminating photographic works.

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