| Art

The Light of James Johnston

A love of symbolist northern landscapes

James Johnston

James Johnston’s latest works shift from the more lyrical fantasy subject matter of previous shows to darker landscape scenes. Happily, Johnston hasn’t abandoned his strong fluid style or even his talent for finding the light within his subjects and in these latest sets of works despite the backdrop of lonely settings he finds the human points that make his work evocative, soulful and nuanced. Of particular note is a sun setting amongst a pink gloaming, with the slightest indication of house lights reflected on the shore, in Johnston fashion we’re given a distance from the activity and viewed from afar the melancholy becomes a tender companion.

April 21-26 2024
PV on Tues 16th 6pm – 9pm, open to all.
Fitzrovia Gallery, 139 Whitfield Street, London W1T 5EN

James Johnston
James Johnston

Illuminated – Exhibition Notes

James F Johnston’s latest solo show ‘Illuminated’ at Fitzrovia Gallery brings together a striking collection of new and recent work on canvas, paper and wood. A return to small scale work while on tour with PJ Harvey in 2023 led to a refocussing on landscape, often seen or half remembered from train and bus windows while travelling, triggering memory and personal connection to scene and scenery. An escape into a more interior landscape. The subsequent canvases form a group of related landscapes and illuminated figures stemming from the tour paintings, open narratives with an often haunting quality. The work reflects both an expressionistic looseness of touch and a love of symbolist northern landscape painting. Also included in the show is a collaborative wooden sculpture made with renowned sculptor Corin Johnson.

james johnston
james johnston

James Johnston – biog.

Born in 1966, painter and musician James Johnston has primarily been known for his work as a musician -with his own band Gallon Drunk, as a former member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and more recently for his work touring and recording with PJ Harvey. His turn to figurative painting initially began with working small scale in hotel rooms on tour, and as a reaction to writer’s block, subsequently becoming his primary focus as a daily studio practice. A prolific painter, exhibiting in group and solo shows, his work has been used on book covers, as album artwork and featured in a variety of international arts publications, with paintings in international private collections, and the collection of the University of Chicago in Paris.

“A remarkable gift for loose, raw painting… that straightaway imprints itself on the viewer’s imagination” – The Economist.
“Paintings full of mythic power.” – Nick Cave


James Johnston
James Johnston

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