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BETHANY JOHNSON
at Moody Gallery through August 18th
by Todd Camplin

Moody Gallery has one of the most simple complex solo shows by an artist that I
have seen in quite some time. Bethany Johnson's 'Woven Landscape' pieces are
masterworks of modern digital concerns. I see deep meaningful concepts in these
minimal, but energized line drawings.

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Bethany Johnson’s landscapes make me reflect on the Impressionist painter Georges Seurat.
Both Johnson and Seurat have an almost mathematical precision to their images. Dots and
dashes are their methods of completing the composition, however Johnson does not fill the
space but leaves a shadow or dare I say an impression of the landscape, more so than
Seurat. Johnson attempts to use as little amount of information to draw her landscape,
while blending the lines with color shifts. She also creates areas of noise lines, reminiscent
of digital signal static. In contrast with an artist like Seurat, Johnson is assuming most will
experience an outside scene from a television, rather than living the experience. The
television is a false experience, like Socrates’ cave story, the image is distorted.
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Woven Landscape, 2012
ink on paper
9" x 12"
Horizont III, 2011
ink on paper
9" x 11 3/4"
What has caught my interest most about Johnson’s work is, like me, she is pursuing a way
to produce art that mimics printmaking, machine, or digital processes with the use of her
hands. Fooling the eye into believing these are prints seems to be Johnson’s passion. Her
past works also have the removed feel of a machine made product. But on very close
inspection, subtle marks reveal that Johnson has actually drawn these works.

Woven Landscape, 2011
ink on paper
9" x 12"
Why the attempt to remove the human element? Ever since Warhol, many artists have
ink on paper
9" x 11 3/4"
I would argue that reproductions of her work here adds meaning, but only if you go to the show
at Moody Gallery to see the work in person. Don’t miss this show, which runs through August 18th.