Kendall Johnson


As an artist, I see myself less as a creator, more as simply a translator, or conduit between the inarticulate and the private - in critic George Steiner’s words the “anarchic prodigalities of  consciousness and sub-consciousness” - to the more general “latencies of articulation,” the more general realm of public discourse.

My work is usually a process of discovery. Working physically with canvas, paint and found materials allows me to access more subtle dimensions of ordinary experience in a manner I cannot with speech or writing. Language goes but one word at a time, one concept that belongs more to the culture than to an individual. A painting presents a map of territory only dimly understood. I try to start with a bare impulse — even better, a head as empty as the canvas.

Continuing a trend toward larger paintings, my more recent work explores natural shape as conveyed by patterned—sometimes even pointillistic—application of paint. These experiments in perception ask: just how much pattern do we need to see form, and how much of our perception consists of our constructing form from the dizzying, near random bits of swirling light around us? To what extent is our experience a product of our own construction?

Beyond Red 2014 | 40x60 acrylic on canvas | 147.14.12
Sometimes When We Walk… | 30x40 mixed-media on canvas | 143.14.12
Birch 2011| 16x16 color photograph | 146.14.12
Shall I Stay Longer? | 40x30 mixed-media on canvas | 144.14.12
It's Big 2011| 16x16 color photograph | 145.14.12
Untitled, Fragment Series #21| 30x40 mixed-media on canvas | 684.18.01
© 2015 Inland Empire Museum of Art
All Art © by The Artist