Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Pick: William H Johnson

The graphic and colorful figure paintings of William H Johnson (1901-1970) are a constant source of inspiration for me.  He uses composition, scale and patterning so beautifully.  In fact, my favorite aspect of my wedding invitation(which I handmade and spent about three full days on) was the floral stamp, a dedication to a painting by Johnson.

Johnson spent his childhood in South Carolina, and then moved to New York to study at the National Academy of Design in New York.  In 1926 he left for Europe, particularly Scandinavia, for 12 years, which was a very productive artistic time.  He returned to the U.S. with wife and artist Holcha Krake.  After her untimely death, Johnson fell ill and spent the last 23 years of his life in Central Islip State Hospital.  Such a full life, marked by adventure and tragedy, something of that life feels so embedded in his paintings.


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