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High Plains | Rachelle Bussières, Blaise Rosenthal, Andy Vogt

12-21-2021 10:59 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Johansson Projects

Blaise Rosenthal, Agnes of Rome, Pastel, charcoal, earth pigments and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 48 inches, 2020

Blaise Rosenthal, Agnes of Rome, Pastel, charcoal, earth pigments and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 48 inches, 2020

Johansson Projects presents High Plains, a three-person exhibition featuring the work of Rachelle Bussières, Blaise Rosenthal and Andy Vogt. Ranging in mediums from exposures on gelatin silver photo paper, to reclaimed wood lath constructions, and layered painting and drawing on canvas, these three artists use unique vocabularies to compose reflections of individual experience. Their practices share in the use of time and transmutation, each performing acts of alchemy in the studio that shift their humble materials in the direction of the sublime. The exhibition opens January 8 and will run through February 26, 2022, with a preview opening reception on Friday, January 7 from 5 to 8PM.

Beyond materials and process, High Plains draws our attention to an open and varied landscape where an endless possibility of sight lines and visual experiences can be imagined. It also alludes to the idea of “planes of abstraction” where new and open-ended visual languages provide a way of examining the endless potentials of conscious reality.

The works presented in High Plains revolve around impressions of individual experiences, elaborating on the emotional and expressive potential of art. Dynamic and complex, they lean on the value of abstraction, challenging our perceptions and extending to deeper resonances within ourselves and each other.

Rachelle Bussières’ (b. 1986) practice is based on exploring the impact of light on our psyche, environment and social structures. The products of her process, known as lumen printmaking, include photograms that oscillate between two-dimensional images and three-dimensional objects. These are windows on interior spaces that grow and are depleted by sunlight, as well as artificial light sources such as flashes and light bulbs. She seeks to generate new ways of seeing, to challenge our beliefs and intuitions about perception, and draw attention to the ways in which light and shadow sculpt new optical space.

The first home Blaise Rosenthal (b. 1973) remembers was on the edge of nowhere. At the end of a dirt road in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada he spent his formative years. The elemental character of this environment and its aesthetic vocabulary became archetypal for him. Earth, water, fire, and wind; all in local forms. Seasons. Dusty bare feet and no shirt through dry heat Summers, and the sound of crickets at night. Stars beyond counting. The still death of autumn. Winter, with rain on the roof, the smell of cold smoke, and darkness. And then spring, and resurrection. This place formed his bones and his blood, and much of what is true about him. It made what is his, and what he has to share. It is from the residue of this experience that he forms his paintings.

Andy Vogt’s (b. 1970) work straddles the line between sculpture and drawing, or put another way; between the physical and the imagined. He often uses repetition of physical materials and variation of the material’s color to depict shapes that capitalize on our reflex to see dimension where none, or very little, exists in reality. The works included in “High Plains” are part of a series that utilizes thin strips of wood salvaged from the destruction of lath and plaster walls during the renovation of older buildings. The forms in this series are inspired by the moment of upheaval that architectural demolition brings. When the wrecking ball takes down a vintage building, the materials are thrown into chaos, lightened through the entropic release of force. For Vogt, they change states and become a drawing medium where new forms emerge from the dusty rubble.

High Plains runs from January 8 - February 26, 2022 with an opening reception on Friday, January 7, 6-8PM.

For all inquiries, contact Johansson Projects at 510-444-9140 or info@johanssonprojects.com

2300 Telegraph Ave.

Johansson Projects is a contemporary art gallery and curatorial platform in Oakland, CA.

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