Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts

Available Artwork

Featuring the Work of Brett Allen Johnson

vv , vv    About Brett Allen

About Brett Allen Johnson

Brett Allen Johnson is an American artist living in Utah, where he can be found wandering the vacant corners of the state in search of the particular sense of place seen in his paintings. Working both outdoors and in his studio, he explores design, concept, and formal elements, calling on the western landscape to clarify his composition and technique. Having learned draftsmanship at a younger age, Johnson began college studying design and abstract painting. Two years into school, and soon after receiving a purchase award from the institute museum for his abstract work, he walked into an exhibition of early 20thcentury Southwestern art, and walked out with new direction. Dropping university, he deserted the classroom for the open spaces of the west, hoping to synthesize what he’d learned about design with the light and forms of the land. “These badlands and deserts, the arid canyons, the playas and great basins--- these are where my work began, where it begins.” Today, Johnson often talks about the need to avoid faithful observation; to create a unique sense of place. “I am not often a painter of literal places", he says. "I regularly invent entire works, or paint them from memory. I like to invite observers into a world which is merely similar to the one they know, an adjacent world. Perhaps, the adjacent West.” This idea continues to inform his vision, pushing his work towards a more intimate vantage point of the vastness that will always define the west.

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