Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

May 10, 2011 at 2:13pm

CLAYTON ON ART: New artist in town - Victoria Johnson

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SHOWS MISSED >>>

I wish I'd been able to see Victoria Johnson's April showing at G/O Architecture in Tacoma. Maybe we'll get a chance to see her work again soon. If not in Tacoma, then just up the road in Seattle.

Johnson recently moved to Tacoma from Seattle where she was an established artist, with shows in respected galleries, including a solo show and participation in a group show in 2009 at the highly successful Lisa Harris Gallery. Johnson also has a couple of upcoming shows in Seattle: one at SRG Partnership in June and July and another at Lisa Harris in July. SRG is an architectural firm located at 110 Union St., and Lisa Harris is at the bottom of Pikes Place Market at 1922 Pike Place. (Lisa Harris is upstairs and is not handicap accessible.)

There seems to be an affinity between Johnson and architectural firms. She said of G/O Architecture, the site of her most recent T-town show, "Scott Olson's vision is to promote a boutique gallery and it is such a smart idea to convert a technical office space into a gallery."

I've seen her work only as reproduced on her website. The pieces are all pure abstract paintings with flat, organic and curvilinear shapes afloat in shallow space. The colors are soft and vibrant and Johnson uses a lot of delicate transparencies, which lend to a lot of her paintings the flavor of stained glass minus the heavy outlines.

I particularly liked a large oil painting called "Night of a Hundred Lanterns." It's an airy picture with many overlapping ribbons or orange, yellow and blue-green swirling over a field of light blue that fades to a brilliant white at top.

I also liked a smaller painting called "Abaris," which divides the space into two equal vertical areas with a brownish orange shape in the middle that connects the two. It looks like a sperm swimming toward the ovaries on the left.

Here's a statement Johnson wrote for her show at G/O Architecture:

"I'm committed to the foundation of pure abstraction with its pure form, pure surface and pure color. There aren't any certainties on the journey. Abstract art is about something that is happening all at once in the space of the painting and process, the eventual arrival of the painting revealing the power of formalized qualities. A representative painter plots to get something and wants to show things in the painting, whereas without a destination in mind, I'm hopefully taken out of context to the space of creation.

"These paintings investigate the two dimensional surface and there are subspaces within it of some higher dimensional space to explore the overall extent and substance of the area. AREA as a noun is the plane of the surface and the magnitude of an object. It is the scope of the surface and the volume of the solid. Whereas, the cause and conditions of the space is the adverb to explain it somewhere, in some place, wherever it may be. The realm and area that fashions a space is the modifying adjective about thickness of a shape, its length and curve. This lets us know when, where and why and under what conditions something is happening on the surface."

It's nice to know that another accomplished artist has chosen to make Tacoma her home, and we look forward to being able to see more of her work.

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,
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