STEPHEN HALLER - Johnnie Winona Ross




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Published on Nov 9, 2013

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


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