Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Real and imagined lives

The real and imagined life of dell barnhart is the title of Becca Johnson's current exhibition of paintings, drawings and photographs at BoBo Gallery, and was created through Johnson's second self. There is no single representation of Johnson or her alter ego that actually exists in the exhibit, but they are present in the faces of women and animal forms like whales, foxes and minx. "They are a portrait of my emotional state more than my figurative state," says Johnson.

What's most notable about the work is Johnson's expressive use of materials. "I feel boxed in if I think there's only one medium I can work in," she says. Drips of paint and dramatic pencil marks appear from beneath layers of paint, laying bare the history of the painting. Some areas of her works are loose in their marks, while other areas are rendered with more clarity. Varying textures of paper are collaged together, and thick applications of paint appear above thin washes, producing a gratifying visual surface.
From Artillery:Exhibit by Becca Johnson expressively manifests the real and the imagined
by Ursula Gullow in Vol. 16 / Iss. 36 on 03/31/2010

I think Johnson's work would be better off displayed in an actual gallery; it seems like she had to hold back on some of her vision for the sake of the venue. This is a good example of why Asheville could stand to gain a decent exhibition space for contemporary artwork and installations.

The real and imagined lives of dell barnhart will be on display at Bobo Gallery on Lexington Ave until May, and should be seen.

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