Matthew Johansson’s ‘Suburban Still Life’ opens at Kortman Oct. 1
From press release
Self-taught Rockford artist Matthew Johansson reveals a passionate, philosophical view of life in the Midwest with his new exhibition “Suburban Still Life,” opening Friday, Oct. 1, in the Kortman Gallery. His challenging images are collages of paint, photography and clippings that illustrate his cautious appreciation for life in the Midwest, or even more specifically, Rockford.
In his artist’s statement Johansson writes, “My work is inspired by Rockford.” He goes on to say: “Being Midwestern is a novel thing. Separated from the unlimited possibilities of the ocean, the mind instead focuses on the reality of black dirt and big sky. Neither are we obsessed with the new, like the West, nor old and bound by tradition, as is the East.”
“There is a reason that a majority of the revolutionary creativity of this nation comes from the middle,” says Johansson. “It’s because, thankfully, we are forgotten, and art is, intrinsically, a solitary process.”
Kortman Gallery Director Doc Slafkosky says: “Several of Johansson’s pieces have imagery of Rockford popular culture imbedded in his visually stimulating works. In one piece, Symbol’s profile masks a junkyard stack of crushed cars, and in another, a stylized cow stands in the foreground of Hilander supermarket ad clippings.”
Johansson’s large-scale peices feature life-sized collaged images of “real” people appropriated from a European “swingles” magazine. “These provacative images take on an eyebrow-raising sensibilty when seen in such large scale,” says Slafkosky.
The Oct. 1-2 opening receptions for “Suburban Still Life” by Matthew Johansson will be from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday, and 3 to 9 p.m., Saturday. Johansson’s exhibit is part of the Fall ArtScene weekend. Kortman Gallery is upstairs at J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St., downtown Rockford. For more information call (815) 968-0123 or visit jrkortman.com.
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