BRETT ALLEN JOHNSON “ESSENTIAL DESERT”
September 7 - september 21, 2019
PUBLIC OPENING RECEPTION SEPTEMBER 7th, 6 - 8 PM, the artist will be in attendance.
Pricing Available by Request
Inquiries: info@MaxwellAlexanderGallery.com or 213-275-1060
Brett Allen Johnson’s debut solo exhibition Essential Desert follows up his highly successful sold-out showcase last year. Johnson’s contemplative work pushes abstraction into innovative realms, cementing his place as one to watch within the Western world.
Though his house and studio lay nestled in a valley surrounded by the towering peaks of the Wasatch Front in Utah, Johnson rarely chooses his subjects close to home. Often citing early memories of family road trips throughout Southern Utah and Arizona, and drawing in his grandmother’s Sedona studio, it was little surprise he later found his artistic footing in the stark light and geometric topography of the Southwest deserts.
Johnson frequently paints both on site and from his studio. His practice involves living in and pulling from the sun-soaked landscapes of the mesas he loves. Johnson distills his compositions from observation into building blocks made of design and impression. “I am not often a painter of literal places” Johnson says “…I like to invite observers into a world which is merely similar to the one they know; an adjacent world.”
Johnson pulls from his background and training in design to bring a level of realism that reaches beyond a literal interpretation. In a recent six-page article and interview from Western Art Collector, Johnson describes his approach in depth. “When I hear people say my work feels abstract, it does feel validating. I don’t do a bunch of dropped edges or angular forms, but I see abstraction to internalize the big shapes.” These big shapes form the basis from which his more realistic details sit on, grounding the work. Details such as sage in Dust and Spirit, add intimacy to the scale. In pieces like In the Land of Mesas, horses and riders tether the vastness of the abstracted forms to a more accessible reality, encouraging the viewer to participate in the impression of landscape as a monument to memory.
The opening for Essential Desert will be held on Sept 7, at Maxwell Alexander Gallery’s downtown Los Angeles showroom. A public reception will be held from 6:00-8:00pm that day, with the artist in attendance.
“My heart comes alive in this place - barren and bold, with a clear light and the smell of brush and red earth underfoot - a place as unique and rousing as any I’ve known.” BAJ
Western Art Collector Magazine Six Page Article on Brett Allen Johnson, September 2019 issue: