Saturday, November 27, 2004

One of the prints in the Grant Johnson exhibition closing Friday, December 24, Sunrise, Napa Valley, 9910300427, inspires a new online gallery of Johnson Details, which show some of the unique aspects of Johnson's achievement as a studio printmaker. He started in art school as a painter interested in pointillism in the manner of George Seurat and Paul Signac, but that was too slow, he said. Then, when computers with graphic capabilities came along in the early eighties, he tried pointillism again using early pixel paint programs and a bitpad with somewhat more success, except there was no output capability. Eventually the tools came together, a sufficiently powerful, yet affordable platform, major investment in a large format inkjet printer, scanners and Photoshop. Like the old masters, Johnson relies on optics, this time in the form of photography, heavily mediated by his process, and always rendered in dots (or points), just as in his first efforts, a vibrant optical mixing of pure colors, no muddying.