JAY JOHNSON: RECENT SCULPTURE

JAY JOHNSON

The first exhibition in Toronto of Jay Johnson’s sculpture. Trained in music and industrial design Johnson builds elegant, strange and elaborate work, often with kinetic or audio components – parts that lurch, wheeze, chime and scrape – that are culled from junk shops, garages and old workshops. Johnson mechanically combines these into frail-looking machines that go through all manner of motion and sound to suggest ideas about gender relations, desire, power, death, luck, memory, primordial urges and subconscious fears. Johnson’s work has parallels with the sculpture of Alexander Calder and Joseph Cornell, the photographs of Weegee, the drawings of Vija Celmins and the paintings of Neo Rauch. Michael Scott, art critic of the Vancouver Sun, has written that Johnson’s sculpture “mechanizes the stuff of dreams.”

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