Johansson Projects presents Someday Morning, a two-person exhibition of works by Brian Scott Campbell and Matthew F Fisher. The works in this show skew toward perceptually driven portrayals of nature: a wave, the sun, a waterfall, a grove of trees, rolling hills, winding paths. Beyond these literal subjects are moods–dreamlike, dark, hallucinatory, nostalgic, meditative, calm–intended to send viewers into precious and stylized moments through time from myriad corners of real and imaginary worlds.
Working within the bounds of a tightly defined, yet painterly and expressive visual style, Brian Scott Campbell’s paintings radiate a profound stillness with their flat planes, rudimentary lines, simple shapes, and thickly outlined objects. Seaside landscapes, country homes, and other bucolic scenes are simplified geometrically, and rendered in a muted palette of predominantly blue and gray hues. Campbell’s scenes are notably absent of people, yet the imagery is intended to reflect the idea of memory itself through a collection of real and fictional experiences. His use of flashe, a vinyl based paint that dries in particularly thin layers, captures traces of Campbell’s hand, preserving a complicated mesh of variable brushstrokes. Hints of bare canvas appear through thin washes, emphasizing the paintings’ material nature and placing a categorical distance between the viewer and the work as an aesthetic object. His paintings evoke Outsider art, as well as reference the grainy, roughly drawn work of Jean Dubuffet. Colin Edgington writes about Campbell’s work: “Campbell’s use of flashe, a vinyl-based paint that dries with a matte surface quality accentuates the texture of the gessoed canvas which peeks through the artist’s brushstrokes. These works are not made to provide a sense of realistic space and are not windows per se, but rather are representative of an interior sensation in which light emanates from sources unknown, carried along by the image itself.”
Matthew F Fisher recently found a Greek word that translates to “season of long days.” He interpreted that season as being Summer, and the imagery in the works, inspired by childhood memories going to the beach, beckons that ethos. He describes this latest series as “a love letter to the past written in the present thinking about the future.” Drawing on these memories of spending time near the water and contemplating the vastness of the ocean, Fisher often paints seascapes featuring recurring motifs–the rising and setting sun, waves, solar system, shell, ocean, lake. These powerful natural bodies potentiate big picture thinking, conducting a sense of calm and nostalgia. In one memory, he was driving over the bridge to the shore and saw a hotel sign with a jumping sailfish. At that punctuated moment on the road trip, fifteen minutes away from his destination felt like fifteen hours. This is the inception of his imagery coalescing with echoes of time. Fisher works methodically with astounding detail and depth, laying down a multitude of layers of acrylic and ink in one drawing or painting. The richness of his meditative process emulates a certain specificity found in nature, emanating quietude, captured and suspended in time. His objects are rendered with such dimension and volume that they appear sculptural against flat, gradient backgrounds.