TIM JOHNSON FLOATING WORLDS
8 JUNE - 10 JULY 2016
Tim Johnson makes a welcome return to the Canberra art scene with his solo exhibition Floating Worlds. The exhibition includes recent paintings over the last two years since he featured in the Nancy Sever Gallery’s inaugural exhibition.
Often described as ‘floating worlds,’ Tim Johnson’s extraordinarily powerful paintings embrace the spiritual iconography of a range of cultures. The paintings are metaphysical landscapes. His is an individual journey of spiritual self-discovery that has an enormous absorptive capacity but which always remains anchored in his unique vision.
Against the background of Aboriginal dot painting Tim Johnson lays out his personal iconography, drawing on Buddhist, Tibetan and Chinese art. His painting style is influenced by these sources in both a technical and philosophical way, and by his collaboration with artists from these cultures.
Tim Johnson has long been one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists. In 2009 the Art Gallery of NSW and the Queensland Art Gallery both presented a major survey exhibition of his work. He is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, all state and regional galleries and in major corporate and private collections in Australia and overseas.
These new paintings range through familiar areas of interest. They are described as "floating worlds" because images from a diverse set of mainly cultural references float across the canvas in an ambiguous multi-level pictorial space. They are floating as if they were already in the mind, accumulated as memories, associations, thoughts and signs.
This approach to painting is strongly influenced by the artist's visits to Papunya in the 1980's and the show includes many references to this time in the artist's life, drawn from photographs that are being constantly re-invented and re-contextualised. The work is still collaborative and references Buddhism, drawing from Tibetan traditions as well as the kind of contemporary buddhist art you might find for sale on the internet.
The Buddhist idea of the Pure Land is used because it represents a better world than the one in which we live and allows the artist to take an idealised, utopian world view. Art is the perfect vehicle for expressing an approach like this, with it's own language of cultural and spiritual signifiers and it's own history of critiquing, documenting and romanticising the social.
UFO's come into the picture as something that is an unknown but, in a sense, of the future. It is something that seems to be beyond our understanding, yet has been part of world culture for some time now. Exra-terrestrials or off world entities are not that far removed from the gods, deities, starmen, visitors and lawgivers of the ancient past.
Artworks included in the exhibition:
(for details of the works, please hold cursor over the image)
Views of the exhibition
TIM JOHNSON CV
1947 Born in Sydney. Lives and works in Sydney.
1966-70 Studied at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney.
1997-98 Australia Council Fellowship.
1999 Mosman Art Prize
Sceggs Redlands Art Prize.
2013 Paddington Art Prize
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
1970 Off the Wall, Gallery A, Sydney.
1971 Installation as Conceptual Scheme, Inhibodress, Sydney.
1972 Diary, Voyeur, Fittings, Disclosures, etc., Pinacotheca, Melbourne.
1973 University of Queensland, Brisbane.
1977 Gallery A, Sydney.
1979 Mori Gallery, Sydney.
1982 Wheel of Life, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
1984 The Drunken Boat, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
1985 Conceptual Painting, Union Street Gallery, Sydney.
1986 Esoteric Landscape, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
Languish, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
1987 Papunya Revisited, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
1988 Richard Pomeroy Gallery, London.
1989 A Survey 1956-1989, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
1991 Armageddon, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
Chapman Gallery, Canberra.
1992 Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
Visualisation, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
1993 Shareware, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
Across Cultures, Ian Potter Gallery, University of Melbourne.
1994 Tim Johnson, Glasgow Museum, Glasgow.
Asia, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
Chapman Gallery, Canberra.
1995 Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
Non La, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
4 Directions, Mori Gallery, Sydney
1996 Chapman Gallery, Canberra.
1997 On The Internet, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
CD installation, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
1998 Alien Land, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
The Sources are Real, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
Tim Johnson and Karma Phuntsok, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
2000 What the Eye Knows, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
Collaborations, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
Far out, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
Pure Land, Chapman Gallery, Canberra.
2001 Tim Johnson, Lord Mori Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
Presence, Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney.
2002 Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
2003 Insignia, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
Threads of Destiny, Mori Gallery, Sydney, (with My Le Thi).
Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, LA, USA.
Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
2004 Serindia, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
2005 Far Out, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
Full Moon, Bellas Milani Gallery, Brisbane.
Punk Paintings and Prints, Bellas Milani Gallery, Brisbane.
2007 Anomalous, Lister Gallery, Perth.
Nurture, Bellas Milani Gallery, Brisbane.
Tim Johnson, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
2008 Graphomania, Chapman Gallery, Canberra.
2009 Emporium, Lister gallery, Perth.
Painting Ideas, Art Gallery of N.S.W. and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane,
2010 World's Apart, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
Emulation, Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney.
2013-2014 The Luminescent Ground, Ikon Gallery. Birmingham, United Kingdom
2014 Eye to Eye, Nancy Sever Gallery, Canberra.
2014 Otherkin, Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney and Germany
Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of NSW
Milani Gallery, Brisbane
Performance, Gertrude st, Melbourne
2015 Art as a verb
Aliens, conspirances., Dominik Mersch Gallery
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
1973 Recent Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1979 Third Biennale of Sydney: European Dialogue, (Film program), AGNSW
1983 Australian Perspecta ’83, AGNSW, Sydney.
1984 The Politics of Picturing, Institute of Modern Art and Tasmanian School of Art Gallery.
1985 Dot and Circle, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne.
Close Remarks, Artspace, Sydney.
Two Worlds Collide: Cultural Convergence in Aboriginal and White Australian Art, Artspace, Sydney.
1986 Two Worlds, Lismore Regional Gallery.
Sixth Biennale of Sydney: Origins, Originality and Beyond, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Pier 2/3, Sydney.
Symbolism and Landscape, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney.
1987 Shadow of Reason, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
Young Australians, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
A New Romance, ANG, Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra.
1988 Stories of Australian Art, Commonwealth Institute, London.
Contemporary Australian Art to China, state museums of Beijing, Wuhan, Shanghai,
1989 Inhibodress 1970-72, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
1990 Paraculture, Artists Space, New York.
Art Frankfurt, Kunstmesse, Frankfurt.
Out of Asia, Heide Gallery, Melbourne and Regional Galleries.
L’Été Australien à Montpelier, Musée Fabre, Galérie Saint Ravy, Montpelier.
Balance, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
Art Dock, Noumea, New Caledonia
1991 Chicago International Fine Art Fair, Chicago, USA.
Off the Wall/In the Air: A Seventies Selection, Monash UniversityGallery,
Artists Make Books, Linden Gallery, Melbourne.
Rivers, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne.
1992 Documenta IX, Kassel, Germany.
International Contemporary Art Fair, Pacifico Yokohama. Exhibition Hall, Japan.
Domino I: Collaborations Between Artists, Ian Potter Gallery, Melbourne.
1992-93 Ninth Biennale of Sydney: The Boundary Rider, Art Gallery of New South Wales and
Bond Store 3/4, Sydney.
1993 Wits End, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Art Frankfurt, Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.
Art Cologne, Koln Messe, Cologne, Germany.
Luminaries, Monash University, Melbourne.
Inaugural Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Melbourne.
1993-94 Identities: Art from Australia, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan; Wollongong City Gallery
and Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland.
1994 Light and Movement, Museum Contemporary Art, Sydney.
25 Years of Performance Art in Australia, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney.
1995 Antipodean Currents, Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Asia & Oceania Influence, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney.
1996 Hidden Treasures II, S.H. Erwin Gallery, Sydney.
Colonial, Post-Colonial, Museum of Modern Art, Heide, Melbourne.
Art Cologne, Cologne Germany.
Australia: Familiar and Strange, Seoul Arts Centre, Korea.
1997 Spirit + Place, MCA Sydney.
Objects + Ideas, MCA, Sydney.
Plastic Fantastic, MCA, Sydney.
Inside, University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany.
Similar, (with My Le Thi) 4A Gallery, Sydney.
Dead Sun, AGNSW, Sydney.
MacCaughey Prize Exhibition, NGV, Victoria.
1998 Mingling of Cultures, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Crossing Boundaries, (with Zen Yipu and My Le Thi), Drill Hall Gallery, ANU, Canberra.
Wilderness Society Exhibition, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
Verve, S.H. Erwin Gallery, Sydney.
Commonwealth Art, Malaysia.
Be Seeing You: one night of video, Mori Gallery, Sydney.
Dylan, Tim Johnson and Greg Weight, Michael Nagy Fine Art, Sydney
1998-99 Ways of Being, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, and touring Australia.
1999 Tolarno Galleries, Perth Festival, Perth.
We are Australian, National Touring Exhibition, Melbourne.
Bright and Shining, 4A Gallery, Sydney.
Bright and Shining, Tokyo, Australian Embassy, Tokyo.
Global Arts link inaugural exhibition, Ipswich, Queensland.
Chicago Art Fair, Chicago, USA.
The Rose Crossing, Queensland Art Gallery, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong.
What John Berger Saw, ANU, and touring.
The Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand.
Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane.
2000 The Rose Crossing, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney; Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery, Sydney.
Restricting the Palette, Colour and Land, Canberra.
From Appreciation to Appropriation, Adelaide Arts Festival, Adelaide.
Project 2/2000, an affiliated exhibition of Biennale of Sydney, The University of Sydney.
Flight Patterns, MOCA, Los Angeles.
Expressions of Faith, Shenpen Australia, Vaucluse, NSW.
2001 The Mandala Project, Gallery 4A, Asian Australian Arts Centre, Sydney,
3 Views of Emptiness, Monash University, Victoria.
Art/Music: rock, pop, techno, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Buddha Radiant Awakening, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.
Yab Yum, Contemporary Project, Shenpen2, Melbourne.
Viet Nam Voices, Melbourne Museum, Melbourne.
Absolut, LA International Biennial Art Invitational, Los Angeles.
2001-02 ‘So you wanna be a rock star’, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
2002 Imaging Identity and Place, Grafton Regional Gallery, and touring NSW.
Points of View, UTS Art Collection, UTS Gallery, NSW.
Sulman Prize, AGNSW, Sydney.
White, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
Contemporary Portraiture, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
Tim Johnson, Lord Mori Gallery, Los Angeles.
2003 Museum of Contemporary Art Unpacked II, MCA, Sydney.
Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968-2002, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Parallel Worlds, Tim Johnson and My Le Thi, UTS Gallery, Sydney.
Art and about, Sydney Council Visual art event, Sydney.
2004 The State of Art Peace, Manly Art Gallery, and touring NSW.
Pop, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
White/Light, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
MCA Unpacked II - Selections from the MCA Collection, University of S.A., Adelaide.
2006 The Sound of the Sky, NT Museum, Darwin.
Lives and Times, National Gallery of Victoria touring.
2007 Bloodlines Hawkesbury Regional Gallery NSW.
The Luminescent Ground Wollongong Regional Gallery, NSW.
Multiplicity: Prints and Multiples, MCA Sydney, NSW.
Blast, the influence of Manga, Redcliffe Gallery Comple, Redcliffe, NSW.
Smile of the Buddha, Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra.
2008 The Visitors, Penrith Regional Gallery, Penrith NSW.
Peep, Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Melbourne, Victoria.
Drawn In, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
An Ever Expanding Universe, Pica, Perth.
Open Air, Portraits in the landscape, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
2009 Gallery A 1964-1983, Campbelltown City Art Gallery NSW.
Avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world, MCA Sydney.
2010 Sacred Spaces, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, NSW.
Roundabout, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.
Hong Kong Art Fair, Hong Kong.
2012 Singapore Art Fair Singapore.
Arthur Guy Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery Victoria.
Quest for Red, Macleay Museum Sydney University.
Exhibition7, Art of Australia. Kunstwerk Sammlung, Nussdorf, Germany.
Afterglow, Monash Art Gallery, Melbourne.
New Psychedelic University of Queensland, Brisbane.
Refugee, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
Together in Harmony, Korea.
Australia-Korea show, Museum of Contemporary Art.
Hong Kong Art Fair Hong Kong, China
2014. Country and Western, Townsville
Paris Photo France
2015 Mathias Gerber
Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW
East-West, Art Gallery of NSW
National Gallery of Australia and all State Galleries
Allen Allen & Hemsley
Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane
The Joseph Brown Collection
The Kerry Stokes Collection
University of New South Wales. Sydney
The Australian National University
Private collections in Australia and overseas
1988 ICA, London.
Sydney University, Sydney.
1993 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1995 Queensland University.
University of New South Wales.
1998 National Gallery of Australia.
Ivan Dougherty Gallery.
1999 Sydney University, Sydney.
Canberra School of Art, ANU, Canberra.
Dubbo Gallery, Dubbo, NSW.
Australian Embassy Tokyo.
2000 Sydney University, Sydney.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, ‘Conversation with Artists'
2004 Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
1993 Guest Lecturer, Northern Territory University, Darwin.
1994 Residential Landscape Workshop, Flying Art School, Lake Julius, Queensland.
1998 Electronic Identities in East Asia Workshop, ANU, Canberra.
1999 Visiting Fellow, Canberra School of Art, ANU.
Ways of Being Workshop, Dubbo, NSW.
2000 Sydney University, Sydney.
2001-03 Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney.