Somewhere between those two things is this thing
Josh Johnson and Michael Ian Larsen
October 28, 2020 - December 19, 2020
The kinship that exists between our work is slippery. It situates itself behind the obvious connections of sculptural form and materiality, residing in the gaps of visual perception and cognition. In the same way that if you say a word enough times it starts sounding like gibberish, likewise if you look at something for long enough the series of lines, colors, textures, and shapes start to shake themselves loose and gradually undermine the supposed stable thingness of any particular object or image.
The found objects in this show were entities that went through this exact process of being stared at for too long and started to shake, gradually reaching this impossible to ignore status of having to be lifted from where they were found: a farm in the middle of Nebraska, an alley in Minneapolis, a moldering Lincoln warehouse - brought along and broken down in order to provoke this same sensation. The artist-made objects in the show are all attempts at approaching the same state, though by means that have less to do with the currents of time and environment, instead enduring the twisted, pacing, back and forth logic of two studio artists that are continually looking for objects that simply don’t sit still.
Memory, place, materiality and conversation are themes at play within my studio practice. My work is made almost entirely from material mined from my sourroundings and references specific aspects of lived spaces through form and presemce. I make connections between environments -- those remembered and at hand.
plywood, particle board, Douglas fir, pine, coal, water, putty, latex paint, shelf fragments, broken figurine, wood glue, India ink, graphite.
Fossil Record (Detail)
Passing Though (Detail)
Plywood, Particle Board, Pine, Cedar, Spruce, Candle, Found Shelf Fragments, Water Putty, India Ink, Wood Glue, Latex Paint, Graphite
Sculptor Josh Johnson makes connections between environments – one at hand and the others remembered. Josh earned a BFA at the University of North Dakota, and an MFA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was awarded a 2016 Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, a Kimmel Harding Nelson Residency, and was twice selected as a finalist for the William and Dorothy Yeck Young Sculptor’s Competition at Miami University in Oxford, OH. He has exhibited nationally, including shows at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, the Soo Visual Art Center in Minneapolis, Colorado State University, and Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. Josh was the Residency Arts Technician at the Bemis Center from 2016-19. He has taught art courses at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska Wesleyan University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the College of Visual Arts. Josh currently teaches sculpture and 3D foundations at Missouri State University.
plywood, Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, book, broken pencil, printed building plans, found stone, sand paper, found furniture fragments, graphite
Shrine Builder (Detail)
Where Seldom is Heard
plywood, particle board, Ponderosa Pine, steel, found furniture fragment
Micahel Ian Larson
My current work exists somewhere in the threshold between 2 dimensional and 3. It employs many of the mechanisms of representational painting inclusing orthogolan lines, overlapping shapes, and the assumption of a relatively fixed frontal perspective on the part of the viewer. The onjects depicted are typically mundane -- a chair, a slinky, or a stack of cards, and point towards an interest in ordinary, everyday life. Many of these works are ceramic scultures, but they spill into other media including painting and even installation.
Unfolded Lawn Chair
acrylic on tarp
Folded Lawn Chair
Untitled (Cardboard Loaf)
Found and Cut Cardboard
Untitled (Wood Stacks)
I'm still developing an understaning of what this compression of space means, or at least where it comes from, but havr brrn thinking about the flattening effect that sitting in front of a computer, or a television set, can have over an extended period of time, taking the myraid complexities and uncertainties of actual lived experiences and shrinking them into easily digestible bits and pieces that more often than not fit into preconcienved notions of how the world works, what is right, what is wrong, and so on. In an attempt to pry open this in-between space, the work has the quality of a caricature -- pointing toward the object depicted while exaggerating certain aspects and masking others. Ultimately, the objects force the viewer to navigate a shape-shifting entity that acts differently depending on the angle it's being viewed from, beckoning investigation in the form of a loose interpretive dance that is carried out in space.