ON VIEW: NOVEMBER 5 – JANUARY 6, 2021
The Flinn Gallery presents Heidi Johnson, Animal Attraction opening November 5, 2020. The animal species and objects of Heidi Johnson’s surreal worlds inhabit large, vivid canvases. Her playful oil paintings layer ideas, flatten dimensions, and compress time. Johnson entertains the viewer by painting domesticated pets alongside exotic animal species while contrasting 17th century Dutch Still Life flowers with modern artists’ abstract works.
Johnson’s distinctive body of work conveys an abundance of energy through strong color, dynamic composition, masterful technique, and invention. Her easy-to-please canvases thread joyful, visual imagery of everyday life, dogs, birds, and summer pleasures that appeal to the child or natural scientist within us.
Art historians, collectors, and designers, find delight in that she infuses her work with a diverse range of concepts and imagery of art movements such as, early Dutch Golden Age to Rococo; Impressionism to mid-century Modern art. More specifically, a survey of visual references abounds Dutch Still Life masters; Rococo painter Fragonard’s The Swing, Impressionist’s Matisse Goldfish; to modern masters Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt, and Ed Ruscha’s Standard Station to name a few.
“I have a desire to make pictures that defy a normal subject/predicate narrative even though I use recognizable figurative imagery. I want a viewer to be apprehended all at once, by conveying visual and emotional impact without a linear narrative,” Johnson said.
“Similar to the conceptual form of Dutch Golden Age of painting where flora and fauna from different continents meet on the same plane to achieve a breadth of content within one piece,” she explained, “I draw parallels between that era and our contemporary internet culture pumping excess imagery and information from all parts of the planet in a single instant.”
Heidi Johnson describes growing up with creatures large and small in the countryside of Massachusetts. Just months ago, after 25 years of living in the South Bronx and New York City, Johnson traded her artist loft for a Victorian home and the green pastures of Patterson, NY. She holds a BFA from Tufts University and a diploma from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she was awarded the Traveling Scholar prize among other several prestigious awards.
Johnson exhibits widely in the US and internationally: Sweden, Norway, Australia, and Canada, and her artworks are held in numerous private and public collections.
Originally planned for last April, Heidi Johnson, Animal Attraction was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During lockdown, Johnson painted everyday resulting in many never seen before paintings. The exhibition runs from November 5, 2020 – January 6, 2021 and is co-curated by Flinn Gallery Committee members, Ellen Hawley and Karen Sheer.
Over the duration of the exhibition, the Flinn Gallery in-person experience offers visitors augmented reality videos of Johnson’s studio and process, as well as many digital presentations including a 360-degree virtual view of the Flinn Gallery installation, and an artist’s studio video series called, “What’s on your easel?”
The Flinn is now able to take reservations for in-person gallery visits.
Please visit the website at flinngallery.com for updates about gallery access, to view images of all of the artwork in the show, and to learn more about the artist.
The Flinn Gallery is located on the second floor of the Greenwich Library, 101 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT and is currently open Tuesday Saturdays between 11:00AM-3:00PM, with COVID-19 guidelines in effect. Call (203) 622-7947 for Gallery access and visit: www.flinngallery.com to confirm hours and to learn more about the artwork by Heidi Johnson.