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Celestial Navigation: Keith Johnson

Exhibition Run: Monday, February 24 – April 4, 2014
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 5-7pm

Salter Nova webCelestial Navigation is a large-scale photographic investigation that began as a response to a painting by Rebecca Salter at British Art Center and grew into a suite of gridded images about the night sky. Photographer Keith Johnson’s interest turned towards what happens when a photograph of ordinary, regular, every day stuff takes on a different meaning, looks different and even becomes something else: an image.

“My take is that the longer involvement allows for serendipity and image to enter into the experience both mine and the viewers. These pictures are about an AHA! Moment. I would see some surface and look at it for a while intrigued when the roof or the chrysanthemums or the snow sort of tugged on my coat tail and said “Hey you, pay attention.” I found myself saying, “OK I get it. And got to work.”

The images on view detail extended and in depth investigations of singular subjects transformed through seeing. Letting go of narrative, these visually enveloping grids construct new realities to entice the mind and the eye.

Keith Johnson received his MFA from RISD studying with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind following a year at Visual Studies Workshop with Nathan Lyons. Ten years of teaching led to a move to the business side of photography after completing an MBA. He supports his fine art making as a sales consultant in the northeast and is on the summer faculty at Penland School of Crafts, VSW, and Maine Media Workshop, and thesis mentor at SVA in NY and AIB in Boston.

Recent solo shows include Griffin Museum, Winchester, MA; CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY; FotoFest, Houston, TX; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; New England School of Photography, Boston, MA; Panopticon Gallery,  Boston, MA; Nelson Hancock Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Wall Space Gallery, Seattle, WA, and Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, CT.

Collections include RISD, George Eastman House, and Center for Creative Photography.  He is a recipient of two Connecticut Commission on the Arts Fellowships and Residencies at Light Work and Visual Studies Workshop, CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, CT.

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