Ken Johnson | CHG Represented Artist

"Ken Johnson's distinctive paintings of the Australian coastal and outback landscapes are iconic. His practice incorporates rhythmic lines and a continuous curvilinear approach. Beautifully painted with great technical prowess, it is easy to see why Johnson is one of Australia’s most popular landscape painters today." Mark Widdup.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Ken Johnson is a renowned Australian contemporary artist who has had exhibitions in most major cities and is included in art collections worldwide including The National Museum of Damascus, Syria.

His distinctive paintings of the Australian coastal and outback landscapes are iconic. His practice incorporates rhythmic lines and a continuous curvilinear approach. Beautifully painted with great technical prowess, it is easy to see why Johnson is one of Australia’s most popular landscape painters today.

His work often draws upon his travels to India and Italy. Johnson recently built a free medical and learning centre in the Himalayan mountains of Darjeeling, India.

CHG DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

To write an essay about Ken Johnson's work does not allow one to speak, as one normally would, about a coherent style, a linear development, an orderly progression in the unfolding of a considerable talent.

Johnson has been drawing, painting, collecting, building, investigating and exploring from an early age. He has a voracious appetite for sensations and experiences. Coupled with great drive and prodigious energy his investigations have led him to all corners of the globe over the last thirty years.

His work has been influenced stylistically by each culture and produced bodies of work which are clearly indebted to this culture. This is an important learning strategy. Each time, almost imperceptably, his work has taken on a new richness and has extended his ability to deal with the central theme of his work, the Australian landscape. The strategy of having multiple picture planes, side by side, slightly out of register introduce a very important element into Johnsons paintings. He has managed to insert a time element into these paintings, a reference to film frames which is very persuasive and confidently places these images in the presence.

Ken Johnson has an enormously acute eye, he picks up nuances of change and subtleties of mood and colour with certainty of touch that makes him one of the most important painters, with a particular flair for the outback of Australia.

Sculpture is also an important way of working for this versatile artist. He has worked in a variety of mediums, most notably his stone carvings of figures and heads. He shows the same energy and versatility in this area as he does in his paintings. It all seems to stem from this exuberance to make, to come to grips with the essence of the experience and to make it manifest in the world. This talent for making is extended into building his own houses and studios and garden walls and on and on, peopling the landscape with his sculptures and creating a world which is truly his own.

COMMENTS OF NOTE

"Ken Johnson has bent the meaning of depth with his approach to the landscape and human imagery using lines and insets. These are geometric metaphors and conceptual scansions of distance that evolve into a visionary representation."

Prof. Zeno Birolli - Milano

AWARDS AND COMMISSIONS

1969 Acquisition Gosford City Art Prize, Nsw
1979 James Cook University, Northern Queensland
1980 Gosford City Art Prize, NSW
1982 Hunter Valley Research Foundation, NSW;
Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co,
Australia Square-10 Paintings Commissioned
1983 Qantas Sydney – 2 Foyer Murals,
Comalco Switzerland,
Readers Digest, Sydney – 2 Foyer Murals
1984 Rialto Building, Melbourne – 2 Foyer Murals
1985 Qantas – 2 Sculptures
1992 Monash University, Melbourne
1994 Corrs, Chambers, Westgarth, Sydney – Foyer Paintings and Sculptures
2001 Wine Art Series, Hunter Valley Component,
Perth Mint/Gold Corporation, International Print Circulation
2007 Winner of Regional Art Award, Thursday Plantation Sculpture Exhibition
2009 Finalist in Olive Cotton Photographic Portrait Prize
2012 Finalist in the Gallipoli Art Prize
2014 Commission - Lucy Turnbull
2015 Finalist - The Tattersals Landscape Prize - Brisbane, Qld

COLLECTIONS

• AGL ELECTRICITY LTD
• ARTBANK
• THE ART TRUST, MELBOURNE
• BANK OF AMERICA
• BHP STEEL
• R C M BIRD, PERTH
• BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP
• BP AUSTRALIA
• BURDETT BUCKERIDGE AND YONG
• BURNIE REGIONAL GALLERY, BURNIE, TASMANIA
• CGE AUSTRALIA
• CIG
• COMMONWEALTH BANK, AUSTRALIA
• CORRS, CHAMBERS, WESTGARTH
• CREDITLINE AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY
• CS FIRST BOSTON BANK
• DEBEERS, LONDON
• DRESNA BANK
• EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY, PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA-PORTRAIT OF PROFESSOR JOHN KINSELLA
• ESANDA FINANCE CORP
• GANDEL GROUP
• GORDON PACIFIC
• GOSFORD CITY COUNCIL, NEW SOUTH WALES
• GROSSHILL PROPERTIES, UK
• HEWLETT PACKARD
• HONDA AUSTRALIA
• IMMIGRATION MUSEUM, MELBOURNE
• JONES LANG WOOTON, UK
• KORN FERRY INTERNATIONAL
• LEGAL AND GENERAL INSURANCE LTD
• LEIGHTON HOLDINGS LTD
• LEND LEASE
• LLOYS OF LONDON
• MAITLAND REGIONAL GALLERY, NEW SOUTH WALES
• MCDONALD’S CORPORATION, NEW YORK
• MERCK PTY LTD
• MEDICAL BENEFITS FUND OF AUSTRALIA LTD
• JP MORGAN
• NATIONAL FOODS
• NEC AUSTRALIA
• NEW SOUTH WALES TREASURY CORPORATION NEWCASTLE REGIONAL ART GALLERY, NEW SOUTH WALES
• NEWS CORPORATION
• NRMA AUSTRALIA
• OMNIFINANCE
• PRESIDENTIAL PALACE, ISRAEL
• ROTHSCHILD
• RUPERT MURDOCH (PRIVATE COLLECTION)
• SALAMON SMITH BARNEY AUSTRALIA P/L
• SOUTHCORP
• STAR CITY CASINO, SYDNEY
• ST GEORGE BANK
• ST MARTINS PROPERTIES
• TIME INC
• TRANS CITY
• TWEED REGIONAL GALLERY, NEW SOUTH WALES-PORTRAIT OF BERT FLUGELMAN
• UMEHARA JAPAN
• UNIVERSITY OF NORTH QUEENSLAND
• UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA- FINE ARTS DEPT- SANDY BAY, JOHN COBURN PORTRAIT
• JP WERE
• WESFARMERS, PERTH
• WILLIAM M MERCER
• WOOLWORTH LTD
• WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MARITIME MUSEUM, FREEMANTLE
• AL BOUSTAN MINISTRY OF CULTURE,NATIONAL MUSEUM OF DAMASCUS, SYRIA
• NUMBEROUS PRIVATE AND CORPORATE COLLECTIONS IN AUSTRALIA AND OVERSEAS

PRESS AND MEDIA

• AUSTRALIAN ART REVIEW, NOV 2004-FEB 2005, GOOGLE, DOGPILE ETC, P.103
• NEVILL DRURY (EDITOR), NEW ART ONE, CRAFTSMAN HOUSE, SYDNEY, 1987
• MAX GERMAIN, ARTISTS AND GALLERIES, OF AUSTRALIA, CRAFTSMAN HOUSE, SYDNEY, 1990, P.349 (REPRESENTED IN)
• KEN LOCKWOOD (EDITOR), ART FILE: A SOURCE BOOK OF AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS, CRAFT ART INTERNATIONAL, SYDNEY, 1992, PP.340-47
• NEVILL DRURY, IMAGES:CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN PAINTING, CRAFTSMAN HOUSE, SYDNEY, 1992
• ELWYN LYNN ‘ARTS REVIEW’ – THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN, SEPT, 1993
• ROSE COSTELLO, ‘ARTS SUNDAY’, HONG KONG STANDARD, 5TH JUNE, 1994
• NEVILL DRURY, IMAGES 2:CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN PAINTING, CRAFTSMAN HOUSE, SYDNEY, 1994
• ALAN AND SUSAN MCCULLOCH, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AUSTRALIAN ART, ALLEN AND UNWIN, SYDNEY, 1994, P.372
• ‘THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JOHNSON’, STATE OF THE ART, SYDNEY, SEPT-NOV, 1995, ISSUE 14, P.22
• MELISSA WALKER SMITH, ‘GLOBAL DRIFT’. SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 16TH OCTOBER, 1997
• GILES AUTY, ‘ARTS REVIEW’, THE AUSTRALIAN, 8TH-9TH NOVEMBER, 1997, P.25
• NEVILL DRURY, IMAGES 3: CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN PAINTING, CRAFTSMAN HOUSE, SYDNEY, 1998
• LOUISE BELLAMY, ‘AERIAL PERSPECTIVE’, REVIEW, AGE (MELBOURNE), 14TH JUNE, 2000, P.8
• ‘MIXED MEDIA 2: OVE THE TOP’, BLACK AND WHITE, JUNE 2000, P.8
• FELICITY ALLEN, ‘HIS ART IN THE OUTBACK’, ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT, HERALD SUN (MELBOURNE), 30TH JUNE, 2000, P.82
• AUDIO ARCHIVAL TAPED INTERVIEW, STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA, MELBOURNE, 1990
• KIT CUMMINGS INTERVIEW, ‘SUNDAY PROGRAM’, HONG KONG RADIO
• TELEVISION INTERVIEW, ‘SUNDAY PROGRAM’, ABC SUNDAY, ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES ARCHIBALD PRIZE, 1995
• COASTAL ARTS, AUTUMN 2008,”LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL”, PP:14-16
• THE SUNDAY MAIL, “CANVASSING MEDITERRANEA” P:15, BY RONNIE GIRDHAM
• LOS CONTROLE FEATURED ‘OUR HOUSE’ – INTERVIEWER REG LIVERMORE, NINE NETWORK, 2000
• ‘NEXUS’ DVD, TIKITIBOO PRODUCTION, NOAH HUTCHISON, 2002
• ‘AT ONE STAGE’, DVD, TIKITIBOO PRODUCTION, NOAH HUTCHISON, 2002
• ‘SPIRACON’ SCULPTURE ERECTION DVD, JOSEF GERANIO/NOAH HUTCHISON/ADRIAN JOSEF, 2003
• TWO PAINTINGS FEATURED IN THE MOVIE ‘ THE BANK’, 2001
• ASHLEY HAY, ‘NEXUS’, THE BULLETIN, 24TH, SEPTEMBER, 2002
• JEFF MAKIN ‘NEXUS’, VISUAL ARTS, HERALD SUN, 16TH SEPTEMBER, 2002
• HEIDI MAIER ‘TODAY’, THE COURIER MAIL, 26TH MAY, 2004, BRISBANE, P.28
• SASHA VUKIC ‘EVENTS’, DOMAIN, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, OCT 21, 2004, P.33
• BEN CUBBY ‘INTERIOR VISIONS’ METROPOLITAN, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, OCT 22ND, 2004, P.13
• INSITE, SPRING, 2005, P.114
• ‘PUPIL PROVES HIS MASTERY’, THE WEST AUSTRALIAN, OCTOBER, 19TH, 2005, ARTS
• ‘CLARITY IN CREATIVITY’, WEEKEND STAR, 24TH-26TH JULY, 2006, P.108
• ‘GET INTO FEVHA’, BYRON SHIRE NEWS, 22ND JULY, 2006, P.48
• ABC NATIONAL- RADIO INTERVIEW WITH VICKI KERRIGAN
• ABC NORTH COAST ARTSNEST 2007- AWARDS PRESENTATION-JUDGE FOR PRIZE
• “ART ON ROUDABOUTS?” , BALLINA SHIRE ADVOCATE, THURSDAY FEBRUARY 7,2008, FRONT PAGE.
• COASTAL ARTS, ARTIST PROFILE. LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL, BY DR CANDIDA BAKER, PGS 13-15, 2008
• CANVASSING MEDITERRANEA. ARTS EVENT . SUNDAY MAIL . FULL PAGE, MARCH 16TH , 2008 PAGE 15, BY RONNIE GIRDHAM.
• WENTWORTH COURIER, 25-06-08, P.54., “KEN JOHNSON- GLOBAL ROAMING”
• SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, JUNE 22, 2008, ‘CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT’ KEN JOHNSON P:58
• THE SUN HERALD, SUNDAY LIFE, P:11, “FOR BETTER FOR WORSE”
• THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN, JULY 12, 2008 “ACCESS ALL AREAS”
• SYRIAN TELEVISION “ARTSCAPE” ENVIRONMENTAL SCULPTURE EXHIBITION BIENNALE, BYRON BAY 2010 (BOARD MEMBER)