A Terrain of Memory: Monuments from the California Landscape
The wilderness of Northern California is difficult to describe with words. Rich and diverse, it has a timeless quality that comes up from the ground and radiates over the landscape. Everything is colored and shaped by what has come before and what is still to come. A Terrain of Memory: Monuments from the California Landscape at Johansson Projects features new work by Ido Yoshimoto and Blaise Rosenthal that celebrates the enduring aesthetic impact of this region.
Both Yoshimoto and Rosenthal are greater Bay Area artists who grew up with a deep connection to Northern California's natural environments. Their work is largely informed by this mutual experience. Ido lives and works in the forested isolation of his hometown of Inverness, while Blaise, raised in the rugged foothills of the Sierra Nevada, is based in Santa Cruz. Although they work in different mediums, both artists draw from their origins, honoring them through ritual-like processes that transform their materials into monolithic testaments to the legacy of the California landscape.
Yoshimoto's interaction with the history of the land through his woodworking is literal. He speaks of the wood as containing a record of every environmental circumstance the tree experienced and endured; every drop of water, gust of wind, and hot dry spell defining the patterns of the grain. He works to emphasize this individuality in each section of material, while also gracefully coaxing it into a composition of his intent. The result is an expression of his ability to work with nature to achieve a greater goal than he might on his own. Where Yoshimoto reveals the natural dynamics of the landscape through his use of specific materials, Rosenthal creates his tribute to these rhythms through his painting process. Citing his rural upbringing as being the prominent influence in defining his archetypes, his practice emulates the most elemental forces of his childhood. Through applications of washes, earth pigments, charcoal, and obsessive drawing with pastels over extended periods of time, he revels in the physicality of his materials while composing geometric gestures over multiple canvases that are both autonomous experiences and symbolic references to the natural world.
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Johansson Projects is a contemporary art gallery located in Oakland, CA.
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