Alexander Johnson   Life in Abstract
5th-24th September 2015

Opening reception: Friday 4th September, from 6-8pm

The Project Gallery is delighted to present the work of Alexander Johnson with his energetic and provocative work, Alexander has held exhibitions internationally, including the UK, America and the Netherlands.

At Art College, the tutors marked out the artist out for a career in graphic design but, ‘After two years of trying unsuccessfully to tell me what to do and how to do it,’ Johnson remembers, he recognised that a degree in Fine Art would would offer more creative freedom. His love of graphic art didn’t win him acclaim from his tutors however, in whom the fashion for monotone abstraction was deeply instilled. Nevepgstyle8eless, this fact only encouraged him to define and refine his artistic voice. ’If you survive by doing what you are told by tutors, who are you when those people are gone?’ Johnson asks.

Alexander’s relentlessly individual style has progressed towards a colourful, dynamic abstraction in which the influence of graphic masters like Peter Saville flourishes. The artist writes, ’When you are resolving composition in abstract you become even more aware of the fine balance between line, shape and colour, precisely because there isn’t the distraction of trying to make an image that ’looks like’ something’. Abstraction also allowed Alexander to shake off any ties with what he considers the ’human-centric’ aspect of popular culture. ’Like the Dadaists I like to feel that by rejecting recognisable imagery in my work, I’m also rejecting all that I dislike about popular culture; the obsession with how people look and what they wear, the formulaic popular television and crass advertising campaigns and logos that swamp our cities.’

Today, he writes, ’we are bombarded from every screen and surface with figurative images and faces’, but his own mature work focuses on expressing ideas in simplified, elegant form. ’… I want to leave only essential marks on the canvas’. Alexander combines clarity and dynamism in work which manifests his theories of visual association and the significance of visual memory in meaning. ’I am trying to bridge the gap between memory and the present day in my work’, he writes. ’When I… begin to sketch, motifs will arise that come to symbolise place, time and history. There is an element of storytelling here although the images are abstracted.’ The result of Alexander’s eclectic and spontaneous creative process is work with immediate sensory impact, but which always has more to reveal to a viewer, who cannot fail to be personally engaged. We look forward to presenting a collection of his work this Autumn.
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Project Gallery
63 High Street Arundel
West Sussex BN18 9AJ
Exhibiting Contemporary Art