Lisa Johnson's paintings inquire into space and movement within the context of landscape painting. Through her ethereal and sculpted pigment Johnson depicts vast landscapes where figures seem to poetically emerge. Drawing inspiration from on-location studies to develop large studio works, her paintings weave geographic, corporeal, and abstract sensibilities through layers of atmospheric grounds and gestural mark-making. Her work speaks to the passage of time over an evolving landscape painted with spirit and musicality. While Johnson was born in Toronto, her family’s roots in the shield country of North Frontenac – specifically Bon Echo, Mazinaw Lake -- continue to serve as one of her prime sources of inspiration.
Johnson's painting plays with the techniques of the old and new masters, from de Kooning and Soutine to Tom Thompson and Susanna Heller. While her gestural approach shows an affinity for action painting, she also draws on elements of a Baroque aesthetic to add drama and emotion. Johnson creates theatrical worlds of wilderness landscape -- passionate dramas expressed with the visceral physicality of paint in a gestural dance.
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