RARE is pleased to present The Natural, a series of new sculptures by Johnston Foster in his fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. Using a process that relies on the hunting and gathering of discarded, cast-off objects, Johnston assembles his fragmentary materials with whimsy and lightness, allowing the components to dictate form and subject matter. Digressing from earlier tendencies towards the rich, bold hues of found plastics, the artist’s current work is comprised of repurposed organic materials, revealing a dynamic spectrum of dense, earthy tones.
Through the amalgamation of broken furniture and blown-out tires, Johnston re-injects life into inanimate materials to form surreal and impossible mutations. His anthropomorphic sculptures retain the character of their components – raw, open, and exposed to the elements. In creating something from nothing, he invokes a metaphor for survival, ironically demonstrating how the essential materials of nature can be transformed to support human existence, but then are recklessly consigned to the dustbin. By means of a sly and subtle wit, Johnston provokes inquiry into the decline of living species through human exploitation, conjuring up notions that his monsters could be the post-apocalyptic inhabitants of a world that Man has consumed and discarded.
Johnston received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001 and an MFA from Hunter College in 2005. Since the fall of 2011, his work has been featured in a group exhibition at Kidspace/MASS MoCA, and in solo shows at Disjecta, Portland, OR; POVevolving, Los Angeles, CA; Randolph Macon College, Richmond, VA; and Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, Denver, CO.
Johnston is currently participating in a major group exhibition at the Museum of Art/Ft. Lauderdale, where several of his shark sculptures are featured on the back cover of the exhibition catalog. His upcoming schedule includes a solo show at Galeria Christopher Paschall in Bogota, Colombia, and group shows at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, Land of Tomorrow in Kentucky, and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Alabama.