Kysa Johnson: Blow Ups—Spores, Pollen, and Pollutants

March 11, 2007—June 10, 2007
Exhibition Reception: Sunday, March 11, 2007; 3 to 5 pm

Kysa Johnson’s artwork affords a new appreciation for the physical world—including “flying foes” or natural pollutants, such as pollen and other toxins. Johnson’s images give the impression of what might be seen if a sample of the air around us was magnified for examination.

The director of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Harry Philbrick, has invited the New York-based artist to create an exhibition that will feature a collection of landscape-inspired works this winter, entitled Blow Ups—Spores, Pollen, and Pollutants. The exhibition will open with a reception on March 11 and continue through June 10, 2007. The  reception will be held at The Aldrich, located at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, Connecticut, from 3 to 5 pm. Round-trip transportation from New York City is available; please call the Museum at 203.438.4519 for reservations.

additional images | click to enlarge

Kysa Johnson blow up 33-pneumonia, 2004
Courtesy of the artist and Roebling Hall

Kysa Johnson Blow up 75-environmental pollutants acrolein, benzene, ethane, hexane, methane, and propane after Van Ruisdael's landscape with a dead tree 1660's, 2006
Courtesy of the artist and Roebling Hall

Kysa Johnson blow up 76- environmental pollutants propane, methane, acrolein, ehtane, hexane and benzene after Bierstadt's A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (detail), 2006
Courtesy of the artist and Roebling Hall

Kysa Johnson's site-specific work will address both the smallest and largest possible representations of the natural architecture that surrounds the Museum. Her works draw from a visual vocabulary made possible by technologies that allow us to visualize the world in which we live. Her manipulation of this visual vocabulary challenges our sense of scale, allowing us to consider the beauty of matter beyond our visual perception.

Her “blow-ups” focus on patterns in nature which exist at the macrocosmic and microcosmic levels, but are nevertheless integral to our experience as a part of the physical world. Her purpose is to stimulate a greater understanding of the beauty that exists in our natural environment, as well as the materials that make up the architecture of the natural.  Johnson explains, “… for The Aldrich exhibition, I used the environment, the Museum property, as a starting point for the work conceptually. If I am doing work for a specific place I like to in some way give a nod to that place and the subject choice seemed natural in this instance.”

In The Aldrich installation, Johnson will take advantage of the glass walls at either end of the Leir Atrium, opening the space up to the outside and imparting a sense of continuity and communion with nature. She will exhibit an 18’ x 18’ wall drawing of spores that are native to Connecticut, namely white oak, pine, American elm, and red maple, as well as several paintings. Johnson explains, “I am very excited about this exhibition because this is the first time that I have dealt with this imagery in my work. I like to focus on highlighting the beauty of something which we may normally think of in a negative light and have based the composition on wind patterns. I wanted to do a drawing which reflected the architectural intentions of the space—the outside coming in—as well as the larger environment of The Aldrich’s property, Ridgefield, Connecticut, and the Northeast."

Kysa Johnson: Work in Progress

Top of page: Kysa Johnson, blow up 79 (detail), 2006. Courtesy of the artist