Order of Species

Alan Bur Johnson

October 14th – November 26th, 2010

Opening October 14th, 6 - 8 pm

Catherine Person Gallery is proud to present Order of Species, a solo show with multidisciplinary artist Alan Bur Johnson, opening October 14 from 6-8 pm.  The upcoming exhibition features three bodies of work:  Swarms, Invertebrates, and Grafts.

Swarms is a series of photographic sculpture that focuses on the delicate details of objects found in nature.  Johnson captures intimate close-ups of insect wings, honeycomb, and aged blossoms, which he prints on transparencies.  Each image is doubled, one over the other, then encased in circular silver frames and mounted to the wall with dissection pins in striking sculptural compositions.  The resulting installations are “…"bioephemera" on so many levels... the idea of a swarm forming and dissipating and re-forming in time and space, the vanishing and repeating pattern of an EKG, or a cytoskeleton disassembling and reforming in cell division,” states Jessica Palmer, a writer on the arts with a PhD in Molecular Biology.

The Invertebrates series is created from brass optometry plates with photo-etched imagery. These works continue Johnson’s fascination with the physical body, dissecting then re-assembling the individual plates into three-dimensional compositions, which, like Swarms, are fixed to the wall with dissection pins. The work is arranged in a sequential series with reference to the endoskeleton. The durable and solid feel of this series is in contrast to the aerial quality of Swarms.  Yet, both series possess a sense of movement, as light and shadow create a sense of physical levity. 

The third series departs from the sculptural.  Grafts is a series of transfer prints on Okawara paper. Johnson again utilized magnified images of insects, this time enlarging photographs of a walking stick to human scale and rearranging the parts to create geometric spine-like forms. With Grafts, Johnson composed physical structures that lack functionality, while further exploring the relationship between physicality and weightlessness.

Alan Bur Johnson was raised in the Pacific Northwest, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from the University of Washington in 1990, and is now based in Jerome, Arizona. His work has been featured in Photo Miami and twice in the AIPAD Photography Show at the Armory in New York City.  In 2009, Johnson’s work was selected for inclusion in the Arizona Biennial at the Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ, and the Contemporary Forum Exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ. This is Johnson’s second exhibition here.



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