Friday, 9 October 2015

Ben Johnson, Spirit of Place: Paintings 1967 to 2015

Patio de los Arrayanes, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 220 x 220 cm

Went to see the Ben Johnson retrospective at  Southampton City Art Gallery this week. Many large, detailed, perfectly stencilled paintings, some of which are reputed to have taken 17 person years to make over a period of 18 months. 

I have to confess that largely, the photorealistic style leaves me cold, though I can appreciate the skill, concentration and sheer dedication to perfection and intricacy Johnson achieves in these works. This is extreme painting. Extreme painting.
Poolside reflection, 1984, acrylic on canvas, 159 x 217 cm
There are a couple of paintings of pools I like... they are a mass of layering of reflection and light and pattern which borders on abstraction. These are less straightforward representations of what the artists sees.

I won't beard on. Instead, listen to Johnson talking about his work here.
The Unattended Moment, 1993, acrylic on canvas, 184 x 243 cm

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