SOPHIE TREPPENDAHL SOLO EXHIBITION
April 30 – June 18, 2022
Artist Reception: Friday, May 6, 5-8PM
Johansson Projects presents High Plains, a three-person exhibition featuring the work of Rachelle Bussières, Blaise Rosenthal and Andy Vogt. Ranging in mediums from exposures on gelatin silver photo paper, to reclaimed wood lath constructions, and layered painting and drawing on canvas, these three artists use unique vocabularies to compose reflections of individual experience. Their practices share in the use of time and transmutation, each performing acts of alchemy in the studio that shift their humble materials in the direction of the sublime. The exhibition opens January 8 and will run through February 26, 2022
Beyond materials and process, High Plains draws our attention to an open and varied landscape where an endless possibility of sight lines and visual experiences can be imagined. It also alludes to the idea of “planes of abstraction” where new and open-ended visual languages provide a way of examining the endless potentials of conscious reality.
Rachelle Bussières’ (b. 1986) practice is based on exploring the impact of light on our psyche, environment and social structures. The products of her process, known as lumen printmaking, include photograms that oscillate between two-dimensional images and three-dimensional objects. These are windows on interior spaces that grow and are depleted by sunlight, as well as artificial light sources such as flashes and light bulbs. She seeks to generate new ways of seeing, to challenge our beliefs and intuitions about perception, and draw attention to the ways in which light and shadow sculpt new optical space.
The first home Blaise Rosenthal (b. 1973) remembers was on the edge of nowhere. At the end of a dirt road in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada he spent his formative years. The elemental character of this environment and its aesthetic vocabulary became archetypal for him. Earth, water, fire, and wind; all in local forms. Seasons. Dusty bare feet and no shirt through dry heat Summers, and the sound of crickets at night. Stars beyond counting. The still death of autumn. Winter, with rain on the roof, the smell of cold smoke, and darkness. And then spring, and resurrection. This place formed his bones and his blood, and much of what is true about him. It made what is his, and what he has to share. It is from the residue of this experience that he forms his paintings.
Andy Vogt’s (b. 1970) work straddles the line between sculpture and drawing, or put another way; between the physical and the imagined. He often uses repetition of physical materials and variation of the material’s color to depict shapes that capitalize on our reflex to see dimension where none, or very little, exists in reality. The works included in “High Plains” are part of a series that utilizes thin strips of wood salvaged from the destruction of lath and plaster walls during the renovation of older buildings. The forms in this series are inspired by the moment of upheaval that architectural demolition brings. When the wrecking ball takes down a vintage building, the materials are thrown into chaos, lightened through the entropic release of force. For Vogt, they change states and become a drawing medium where new forms emerge from the dusty rubble.
High Plains runs from January 8 – February 26, 2022
For all inquiries, contact Johansson Projects at 510-444-9140 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The body of work in Sophie Treppendahl’s Homebody was inspired by her experience of the last two years. After having her life confined indoors, Treppendahl found she had fallen in love with being at home.
Treppendahl’s interior scenes are not aspirational clickbait. Instead, they are expressions of gratitude for the lived-in house: the clutter of a bathroom sink, the detritus of a dinner party, the surprise of light coming in through a window. These are homes that hold the weight of accumulated hours, bright colors of major and minor joys. A novelty mallard duck planter nests alongside family photos, a plant’s curious tendrils spread in front of a busy floral wallpaper.
Treppendhal pays homage to the painters who have influenced her by capturing the visual reality of how she encounters their work—through afternoons spent browsing art books, amid charging cables and cans of seltzer, takeout food and trinkets. Seen this way, a strange convergence takes place between the artists and the surrounding objects. Nested inside the larger canvas, they combine into a domestic plane, and create a snapshot of a painter at work.
The groove a couch shows after the five hundredth morning of continuous weight, a mug left on a table that one promises to pick up later. The distance between ourselves and our surroundings has collapsed. As a result, the works on display in Homebody can be understood as a collection of self-portraits. Treppendahl paints homes that function like a body, spaces that have become reflections–or extensions–of the self.
Homebody will run concurrently with SPOOLS, a solo exhibition in our side gallery with Oakland-based artist Nimah Gobir. The exhibitions open April 30 and will run through June 18, 2022, with an opening reception on Friday, May 6 from 5 to 8PM.