Mark Johnson Resume
3034 Shady Oak Lane
Verona, WI 53593
University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.S. Art Education, 1973
University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.F.A. Art, 1977
Founder, Sauron Designs, Inc. 1990 - present
Creator of Sauron Designs, a Modern Art and T-Shirt Company
Creator, illustrator and developer of children's book collection, "Friends of the Deep Forest Moon", published by Hard Shell Word Factory
Creator, writer and developer of Art History Website: arthistory-famousartists-paintings.com, 2004 - present
Selected Exhibitions and Awards
Invitational, "Nostalgic Abstraction", Lazzaro Signature Gallery of Fine Art, 2001
Invitational, "Living Artists - 13th Edition", Art Network, Nevada City, CA, 2003
Solo, "Paintings and Visual Prints", Lazzaro Signature Gallery of Fine Art, 2004
Group, "Contemporary Prints", Lazzaro Fine Art, 2005
Group, "The Printed Image", Lazzaro Fine Art, 2005-06
Exhibition Competition, “San Diego Art Institute International Digital Exhibition” April 30 – June 12, 2006, San Diego, CA. 92101
Exhibition Competition, “Biennial – Midwest Fine Art Competition and Exhibition”, May 13 –June 10, 2006. The Municipal Art League of Chicago, Beverly Arts Center
Of Chicago, Chicago, Il. 60655, Honorable mention,
Group, “Intuitive Abstractions”, Overture Center, Madison, WI., 7/2008
Exhibition Competition, d'Art Center 18th Annual Mid - Atlantic National Exhibition Competition, April 25 - June 8, 2008, 208 E. Main St., Norfolk, Virginia, 23510. Received “Award of Merit”.
Exhibition Competition, “Biennial – Midwest Fine Art Competition and Exhibition”, May 13 –June 10, 2008. The Municipal Art League of Chicago, Beverly Arts Center
Of Chicago, Chicago, Il. 60655 Opening May 10 - June 8, 2008, Awards pending
Exhibition Competition, 5th Annual National Juried Multimedia Art Exhibition, Park Gables Gallery, June 1 - June 29, 2008, Harrisonburg, Virginia, 22802, Awards pending
Exhibition, "Intuitive Abstraction: Visual Lyrical Poetry", Calvin Charles Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ., December 10th, 2009 - December 12th, 2010.
The world is full of unseen energies, flowing, fierce, or antic, that animate the visible. These energies move in vibrations that appear to us as light, or sound, or the shifting of tectonic plates, or as the myriad of phenomena that range in both directions of the spectrum. And there are energies of mind and heart, beyond any measure. In his art, Mark Johnson shows us evidence of the material world and intimates a finer reality usually hidden from us. He does his work with a spirited, intuitive élan that revels in a simultaneity of diverse forms and graphic strategies. The variety and complexity of his marks builds a nexus of visual frequencies from which emerges the final image. We sense that for the artist the work comes into being before his eyes. The gicleé prints’ directness posits a way to think about everyday life: forming and breaking down, allowing new structures to emerge, with reality layering upon itself, in endless motion.
Johnson’s working process is both electronic and hand-made, by drawing on the computer, and then manipulating the color and layering of shapes on the screen. His method is close to traditional printmaking, with its graphic and painterly invention, while enjoying the speed and open possibilities of a digital media. But Johnson’s approach is not technological, either in imagery or feeling. Rather, it is closer to the modernist spirit of improvisational abstraction, whose lineage runs from Kandinsky and Klee to Abstract Expressionism and its more recent variants. This heritage allows the artist to move from an exploration of inner consciousness to the pure sensations of the visual.
While abstract in its openness to interpretation, Johnson’s work is full of clear allusions to the known world. There are at times strong references to the landscape, with the swelling form of a hill, or to atmospheres of shifting tonalities. There are hints of the realm of food and dinner tables and sociability. And there are constructive forms that imply the presence of human shelters surrounded by nature. In each case, everything seems infused with a psychic energy, expressed in the form of a veil of interlocking runic writing or the unsettled weather of manic drawing.
Above all, Johnson’s art is at once poetic, visual, and strongly physical. His prints create worlds infused with unnameable feelings, that run on the fuel of vibrant and subtle color, and the power of the active engagement of the artist’s eye and hand.
John Mendelsohn is a painter who has written articles and reviews on contemporary art for Cover Magazine, ArtNet Magazine, and The Jewish Week, as well as essays for exhibition catalogues. He teaches in the Studio Art Program at Fairfield University in Connecticut. He has contributed to the forthcoming book, A Book of Images: Reflections on Symbols, to be published by the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism at the C.G. Jung Institute, New York.
Visit The Mark Johnson Mixed Media Monoprints Gallery One
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