“Pictures for an exhibition: Alone together” at MAC Montreal
By Blouin Artinfo
July 10, 2018
“Alone Together” at MAC Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal (MAC Montreal), an installment of pictures for its evolving cycle of exhibitions “Pictures for an Exhibition” brings together works by four Canadian artists — Sarah Anne Johnson, Graeme Patterson, Jon Rafman, and Jeremy Shaw belonging to the same generation.
Delving on the simple yet complex phrase “Alone Together,” the exhibition explores how one expresses themselves is this era of unparalleled connectivity, where solitude, a necessity to our core being, is scarce. Sarah Anne Johnson visits a music festival and creates a photographic record of modern-day Dionysian celebrations, collective rituals where social intoxicated freedom replaces social norms. Her work ‘Field Trip’ combines euphoria and psychedelia.”
For a full press release, click here.
Sarah Anne Johnson: Rosy-Fingered Dawn at Julie Saul Gallery
By Diana McClure
“In her latest body of work, on view at Julie Saul Gallery through June 23, Sarah Anne Johnson uses photographs as canvases to expose the ephemerality of innocence, adorning her sublime landscapes with unconventional materials, including cotton balls, artificial flowers or spray paint, that speak to both play and longing.
Several of the landscape photographs on view include kaleidoscopic, colored stickers placed over images of water and sky. In two instances – Sunset #2 (Bedazzled), 2018, and Apocalypse, 2018 – the collage-like additions, made from holographic tape, resemble clouds suspended over bodies of water at sunset. The holographic tape has a playful quality that gives evidence of human intervention and contrasts with the emptiness of the seascapes. An additional wash of black acrylic paint drips down the surface of Apocalypse, suggesting a dystopic take on contemporary environmental issues.”
“Like the goddess of daybreak in Homer’s Odyssey, Sarah Anne Johnson’s new landscapes recur with beauty and wonder, in a multitude of guises. In her eighth solo show at this gallery, she is taking a more general approach, not limiting herself to a specific place or distinct history. She’s focusing on photographic tropes- landscape scenes from a variety of places that depict sublime natural beauty. But as always, the artist is concerned with the loop between photographic object and “reality.” She poses serious questions, and answers with seductive playfulness. Once again she is trying to bridge that space through the psychology of place, and the dividing line between what is real and what is felt- a quality that remains a balancing act in all of her projects.
Johnson has added materials that undermine the seriousness of these scenes, and with humor she mocks our traditional sense of beauty and high art. Relief elements such as cotton balls artificial flowers and heavily applied epoxy, holographic tape, the use of photoshop and spray paint, all of these interventions gently push us to question our complicated relationship to nature and photography. How are photographs connected to reality, and how is that connection changing? How can we idealize nature with the knowledge of our globally threatened environment?
Instead of trying to harmoniously fuse the real and ideal, she plays with their parallel lives by forcing together contradictions- high and low, two and three D, sincerity and mockery. She provokes delight and suspicion. The emotional push and pull implicates the viewer in contrast to the distance of cool criticality.”