|Even before his first exhibition at Konrad Fischer's gallery in Düsseldorf exactly twenty five years ago, Alan Johnston had begun to demonstrate through his drawing, an acute awareness of spatial relationships. This sensibility has consistently found expression not only within the context of individual works on planar and three dimensional surfaces, created within the studio and in situ, but also in their relationships to each other and the rooms in which they are placed.
Johnston's work approaches the stark resolution of form and space found in Japanese gardens; those created by the 16th century Japanese artist Sesshu have, in fact, played a profound role in the affirmation and development of his thinking, on many levels.
There is a continuous contrast between the apparent simplicity of Johnston's drawn forms, and the actual marks from which they are constructed.
|| From a distance, bold rectilinear or curved shapes hold and contrast with the space of their meticulous surfaces, on walls, stone, ceramic, canvas, linen and paper.Viewed closely, the individual marks drawn out in charcoal or graphite reveal themselves like individual notes in a musical score, in a dense flurry of activity. This contrast is astonishing.
Alan Johnston has been invited to make a wall drawing at the Norwich Gallery. The drawing will taking place over a period of seven days, on a wall constructed for the purpose, it provides a remarkable opportunity to view and discuss the progress of the work.
Virtually all of Johnston's wall drawings either no longer exist, or were created for the homes of private collectors. This exhibition provides a rare opportunity for a new drawing to be made, and viewed in the making.