Friday, April 16, 2010

Jan Johnson by Debora Alanna

Jan Johnson’s sculpture is climatic. Eight of Johnson’s works contribute to the Urban Settings show at the Dales Gallery. His distinctive welded steel and ‘found objects’ , discarded metal remnants, merge and culminate in constructions that surpass the authenticity of the raw and cast-off matter found in urban locals. Although Johnson’s materials refer to the urban build, he dwells on the exacting experiences that are a consequence of urbanity. Shrewdly, Johnson’s pieces disclose perspicacity. Each an individual world, the works reveal meanings of extensive ideas that result from experiencing an urban life. These sculptures bristle, maximizing the methodical bonding of metal, realizing tantalizing allegory.
With God of Unforeseen Consequences, Johnson may allude to a god like Chacmool, Tenochtitlan – Aztec; however, his work shunts this resemblance with the tree extension from the god’s groin. This work celebrates the outbreak of capacity possible when we acknowledge the mysterious corollary of inspiration.
Garden of Delights involves Hieronymus Bosch’s influence. Johnson’s version minutely renders the delight of cavorting around two exposed, twisting pinnacles and the angst of the never-ending party. The dry vessel that holds this extravaganza remarks on the enchantment of revelry. Too much delight parches our sensibilities. What can purify and cultivate growth of positive spirit, in excess, can desiccate and diminish beauty.
Time Saving Truth From Falsehood is a sculptural parable. The story balances on a corroded disc indicative of a faceless clock, where Time shoulders Truth, impaling Falsehood. Time’s piercing spear forms a style on the plate, where integrity prevailing over perversion perpetually triumphs.
Framing the Birth of Adam in a deteriorated flat screen TV, we become privy to the entrapment of a legendary numinous event. Bedraggled hangings enmesh lounging Adam and the pointing finger that brought him to life. Johnson makes us voyeurs to this dilapidated launch. This version of Adam’s birth is a commentary on our need to see an event on TV to believe its veracity, and the decay of belief in a mystical spectacle.
Market Goddess rules over the minions scrambling up a mechanism of archaic commerce, the oxidized innards of a metal cash register. Sycophants cluster in the backside, as well. Johnson’s edifice shows how ruthless business belittles those that worship money.
Johnson is at ease constructing universal concepts, capturing the core of metaphor, symbol and more. Sinews of metallic components, elaborately wrought, produce sumptuous contributions to our understanding of disproportionate regulation (Policy Machine), susceptibility to opportunism (Arc) and the isolating disclosure of influence (Trinity). Johnson’s sculptures are encapsulated chronicles intricately told.
© Debora Alanna
Urban Settings: Jan Johnson sculpture with abstract paintings by Ira Hoffecker
Dales Gallery -537 Fisgard St, Victoria BC 
8 April – 4 May 2010   Video

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.