Wednesday, March 31, 2010

J. Seward Johnson

 J. Seward Johnson, photo by nosha on flickr

I first ran across J. Seward Johnson's * work when I was living near D.C.  I had heard about an amazing show at the Corcoran** where the artist successfully took 2D paintings  (French Impressionism) and built 3D sculpture... but still had the feeling of a very flat space.  You could walk into a painting.

According to Wikipedia:
J.  Seward Johnson is"an American artist known for his trompe l'oeil painted bronze statues"

Because of Johnson's sculptures, I have been in Van Gogh's bedroom, and I have walked in rainy Paris with Gustave Caillebotte's couple.

 Van Gogh's Bedrom at Arles (painting by Van Gogh)

Johnson's Sculpture of Van Gogh's Bedroom
Some people have criticized the work. For the record, I am all for work that reaches a broad audience. I think that many Americans don't feel comfortable in a museum, and when we can get  people interested in Art and Art History, I think that's a good thing. No, we don't always need to be showing French Impressionism (or those that copy French Impressionism), just like we don't need to always be showing Rothko or Motherwell. Art- there are many different kinds, just like there are many different kinds of people.

* to see what the sculptures I am referring to in this post, go to "beyond the frame"

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