Liselott Johnsson: Immersive Reflections

Exhibition Website

Apr 21 2017 - Jun 2 2017

The exhibition statement is a poem. It aims to reflect the nature of the exhibition which deals with the poetic space of the sea and the horizon. The material used is very thin and strong spinnaker sail cloth which is painted by immersion (stained) resulting in abstract atmospheric dreamscapes that are shaped and folded.

Growing up in Sweden, Ms. Johnsson witnessed the achievements of her grandfather, Carl Andersson, a third generation boat builder, who was at the forefront of sailboat design in Europe. He designed and manufactured the beautiful Vindö sailboats, recognized as elegant classical sailboats and coveted throughout Europe. Early on, Ms. Johnsson expressed a facility for drawing and was fascinated with art, design and architecture. She obtained her Master of Architecture degree from studies at Ecole d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville in Paris, France, and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Swedish Crown Prince Bertil, representing the Sweden-America Foundation, awarded Ms. Johnsson a scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University in New York, N.Y. At Columbia, she researched European Architecture from 1920 to 1945 under the guidance of renowned professor Kenneth Frampton.

An international architect by profession, Ms. Johnsson specializes in architectural design. She has worked on numerous single-family, multi-family, mixed-use, office and site plan projects. She has completed projects in France, Sweden, British Virgin Islands and the United States. Her most renowned assignment is Aquamare, a luxury resort in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, which has been featured in numerous publications including the book "Caribbean Hideaways" by Meg Nolan Van Reesema.

Artistic expression through drawing and painting has always been an important and active part of Ms. Johnsson’s life. In 2012, she completed a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts at Lesley University College of Art and Design (Formerly Art Institute of Boston), Cambridge, Mass., where her mentors and advisors included acclaimed artists Ben Sloat, Wendy White, James Hyde and Fia Backström. During her studies, Ms. Johnsson’s practice expanded beyond painting to include sculpture and architecture, resulting in large-scale art installations. Her thesis Painting Beyond Painting: From Pensiero Debole to an Expanded Practice was recently published by LAP Lambert Academic Publishing. Painting is now the generator for her full practice as artist, designer and architect.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether or not you go:  

Painting Beyond Painting: From Pensiero Debole to an Expanded Practice. Intrigued by the formal boundaries of painting as they relate to objects and architecture, I explored materials, space, color, and geometry to study the limits of their relationship. Throughout my master of visual arts program, I was inspired by Gianni Vattimo’s theory of “weak thought” —pensiero debole— to allow myself to dismantle, shift, transgress, and corrupt boundaries adopted in my practice as painter, designer, and architect. For every new painting project, I would start with a new premise. In a process characterized by a continuous destabilizing shift, I changed creative approaches, painting methods, materials, and compositions, resulting in a diverse body of work. In this book, I chose to focus on color, geometry, and the expanded field of painting. By allowing the boundaries of my painting practice to open up, my painting practice has become the generator for my work as an artist, designer, and architect. Pensiero debole and my MFA program have allowed my art to expand and transform, so that I now understand there are no set boundaries for what a painting practice can encompass or what it can allow an artist to create.

Painting Beyond Painting: From Pensiero Debole to an Expanded Practice

  • Painting
  • International
  • Contemporary
  • Liselott Johnsson

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