brett allen johnson “new works”
NOVEMBER 2018 | OPENING NOVEMBER 3, 2018. 6:30-8:30pm
Inquiries: info@MaxwellAlexanderGallery.com or 213-275-1060
PRICES AVAILABLE BY REQUEST.
Maxwell Alexander Gallery will be hosting a showcase on Brett Allen Johnson’s new works. Johnson’s relationship with the scenery is reflected in the way he treats the drama of the West. Not relying strictly on literal representations, instead Johnson reflects on memory or invents compositions to create the essence of these spaces. “I like to invite observers into a world which is merely similar to the one they know—an adjacent world.”
Currently residing in Utah, Johnson is surrounded by inspiring landscapes where the atmosphere of the West is undeniable. Johnson claims that his work began amongst “these badlands and deserts, the arid canyons, the playas and great basins.” A strong sense of abstraction and design permeate his spaces, and the drama of the sweeping landscapes inhabits even the quietest of moments. In Through Good Country, a horse and rider are swept up in the scenery, both taking in and participating in the expansive beauty of sun-drenched mesas. It is in these moments that Johnson finds his stride, and the latest work in his established career truly finds its voice.
The opening reception for “New Works” will be on November 3rd, with the artist in attendance. An early preview of the work is available upon request.
October 18, 2018
INTERPRETING THE SOUTHWEST
Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles bills itself as “A contemporary realism gallery with modern visions of the past.” Their artists, inspired by the great Western painters, blaze their own trails. Brett Allen Johnson—influenced by Maynard Dixon, the Taos Society and even, Georgia O’Keefe— says, “I’m excited to pull from them my own views of the Southwest.” Johnson is literally inspired, breathing in the atmosphere of the West and the scenes that also inspired his heroes. It becomes part of him, allowing him to portray a different sense of the reality of the West, not merely copying it. “I am not often a painter of literal places,” he explains. “I regular invent entire works, or paint them from memory. I like to invite observers into a world which is merely similar to the one they know—an adjacent world.”
Johnson lives in Utah. He studied design and abstract painting in college but left early to paint out of doors and to bring his sense of design and abstraction to his own interpretation of the landscape. “These badlands and deserts, the arid canyons, the playas and great basins,” he says, “these are where my work began, where it begins.”
His latest paintings will be shown at Maxwell Alexander Gallery November 3 through 25.
The weather is a dramatic as the scenery in the southwest. Johnson turns the drama into a convincing hyperbole in his Midsummer Drama, a 21st-century version of Thomas Cole’s grand scenes of wild, untamed America.
A finely rendered horse and rider are in the foreground of Through Good County. The middle ground and distance are expressionistic splashes of color, no longer a “literal place” but “an adjacent world”—one in which he asks us to see differently.