IRONY IN STEEL : SCULPTURE
xvi + 128
9.5" X 10"
Art book, sculpture
First edition, © 2016 Mary Alice Johnson
$TBA + postage
Photographs by James R. Page
Foreword by Robert Amos
Introduction by Mija Lee
To purhcase a copy of this book, please
contact Mary Alice Johnson at
PO Box 807, Sooke, BC V9Z 1H8 or
See also JAN JOHNSON’S WEBSITE at: almsculpture.com
TO DONATE —
JAN JOHNSON MEMORIAL AWARD
FOR SOCIAL COMMENTARY
The Jan Johnson Memorial Award for Social Commentary was established after he died in 2011. It is presented annually at the Sooke Fine Arts Show
If you would like to support this Award, your tax deductible donation would be gratefully received.
Please make out your donation to the Sooke Fine Arts Society, indicating that you would like it directed towards Jan’s award.
The book retails for $45; any amount is appreciated.
You can mail your donation to Sooke Fine Arts Society, Box 471, Sooke, BC V9Z 1H4 Canada. Please include your mailing address to receive your tax receipt.
BOOK LAUNCH — READING ROOM, SOOKE, BC
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 6:30–8:30
at 1360—6660 Sooke Rd at the Evergreen Centre Mall
Sooke, BC (next to Western Foods) • coffee & snacks
BOOK LAUNCH — COAST COLLECTIVE GALLERY, COLWOOD, BC
NOVEMBER 11, 7–9PM
103, 318 Wale Road, Colwood, BC
CCGallery is located @ the Holiday Inn Express Suites at Westridge Landing
I thought I knew all about your book, but as I sat and read, and looked at the photos, I was bowled over.
All unbidden I found myself laughing out loud many times as I turned the pages and came across his insights.
Page’s photography gives me a better view of the work than I have ever had in person — close up, well lit, brilliantly (and concisely) annotated by Mija, and in a format where I had time to linger and consider. And the layout is a model of its kind. Every bit of effort put into this book serves the purpose effectively and efficiently.
Heaven knows if the world will stop for even a second to discover this volume, and the little gnarly iron bits, but you have done the man proud. He’d probably be blushing behind that formidable moustache. I know that he didn’t do this sculpture for fame, but was driven to it by an irresistible need to give form to his thoughts. The combination of words and pictures underline more forcefully than ever that he is a man for our times, and all times. — Robert Amos, 2016
IRONY IN STEEL is a rich tribute to an exceptional individual and artist, giving insights into the man himself and documenting the inspired works that are his legacy. Jan Johnson, through his life experience and active enquiring mind, created sculpture that reflected his ironic take on the human condition. He rarely explained his work, just led the viewers, with a short title, to find their own way and reach their own conclusion. The book gives a further glimpse into what inspired the pieces, be it literal or allegorical, from myth, history, world events or life’s experiences. Engaging text and exceptional photographs communicate so effectively that we can almost hear Jan’s signature infectious chuckle in the background. It is my honour to have known Jan and to have exhibited his work in my gallery. — Fran Willis,
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born to a ranching family in Hulett, Wyoming in 1943, Johnson gained degrees in business, engineering, and economics from Claremont, Stanford, and Berkeley. He served in the US Army in Vietnam. After the war, he discovered art as a release from the brutalities he had seen. He eventually settled on Vancouver Island, alternating stints as a transportation consultant in the developing world with time at home making art. He died in 2011.
ABOUT THE WORK
Using discarded metal and found objects, Jan Johnson welded creations brimming with humour and implied meaning. He explored myths and monsters, distortion and dystopia, power and conflict — all through an ironic lens. His richly textured pieces invite interpretation and reinterpretation, especially since they are filled with historical and current references. Blending tragedy with whimsy, his playful satires become profound meditations on human frailty, human cruelty, and human
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
James R. Page, an established nature and wildlife photographer, is author of Wild Prairie (Greystone Books, 2005), principal photographer of Candace Savage’s Prairie: a natural history (Greystone Books, 2nd ed. 2011), and long-time friend of the artist. After shooting Jan’s work extensively in the days of film, Jim turned more recently to digital cameras in creating the images for this book. He currently lives on the edge of Grasslands National Park, in the village of Val Marie, Saskatchewan.
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