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Published on Nov 9, 2013
JOHNNIE WINONA ROSS Exhibition Dates: November 7th -- December 14th 2013
Stephen Haller Gallery is pleased to present Johnnie Winona Ross: S E E P, an exhibition of luminous new paintings by the noted American artist -- Nov 7th -- Dec 14th.
Johnnie Winona Ross grounds his work in the inspiration of the desert of the American Southwest, and borrows techniques from ancient Native American sources, melding them with a distinctly sophisticated and utterly contemporary vision.
Washington Post critic Stephen Parks characterizes Ross's work in this way: "From a distance his canvases appear to be simple, minimal constructions of horizontal stripes with hints of vertical color in the background. Up close the paintings are seen to be extraordinarily beautiful and complex objects that induce a humming meditative state."
Ross's use of the Native American technique of burnishing pigment and minerals with a potter's stone to create a hard surface with a visually warm sheen creates an effect reminiscent of the softening of marble steps by decades of use. In describing his paintings Ross says: "I try to produce a physical object which is extra-ordinary from one's everyday life. An object that transcends the physical."
Curator Laura Addison, of the New Mexico Museum of Art, describes Ross's "strategy of distilling a landscape to its immaterial elements" and goes on to state, "his paintings make visible the immaterial and the intangible, such as centeredness, rhythm, sound, heat, breeze."
In his Foreword to the monograph Johnnie Winona Ross, Douglas Dreishpoon, Chief Curator of the AlbrightKnox Art Gallery, writes:
These paintings embody two worlds: one a realm of serene order; the other more unpredictable, a place prone to accident and surprise encounter. The balancing of divergent realms, fraught with tension, is a salient characteristic of this work, where temporal forces, like imaginary rivers glimpsed from the heavens, surge beneath plains of pure light.
And critic Carter Ratcliff writes: "What gives his vision its character, finally, is the brilliance with which he integrates minutiae with overall structures...Ross's art gives us an opportunity to feel an exhilarated engagement with the moment."