Sue Johnson: American Dreamscape

Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
October 3 – December 7, 2013

American Dreamscape featured mixed media work by internationally renowned artist Sue Johnson (American, born 1957). Johnson’s work is grounded in the genres of the still life and vanitas, and explores the history of collections and collectors. Often working in collaboration with museums, libraries, and private collections to develop site-specific exhibition projects, this exhibition is the result of such collaboration between the artist and the Wilson Museum. Bringing together ways of seeing the domestic “American Dream” through objects that are transformed by Johnson from 1950s idealized domestic interiors, American Dreamscape is about contemporary abundance and excess. Viewers will encounter a site-specific installation referencing a 1950s tin-litho dollhouse transformed to human scale as well as a banqueting table featuring the artist’s Incredible Edibles series of ceramic serving ware, highlighting our food habits, in which we rarely know the exact origin of what we eat. Featuring several new works to be shown publicly for the first time, American Dreamscape presents a fresh vision of the world created by Johnson: a vast imaginary landscape full of consumables.

Born in San Francisco, Johnson received her BFA in studio art from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York and her MFA in painting from Columbia University, New York, New York. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York; Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York; and the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, Oxford, England. She has received several national grants, fellowships, and residencies including the Arts/Industry Program, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; the City of Salzburg/Salzburg Kunstlerhaus Residency Fellowship, Salzburg, Austria; and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship Award. Johnson is professor of art in the department of art and art history at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Curated by Amy G. Moorefield, Museum Director, funding for Sue Johnson: American Dreamscape comes in part from the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission, and from Roanoke County.

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