Hidden Driveway: New Works by Johnston Foster
RARE is pleased to present Hidden Driveway, Johnston Foster’s sixth one-person exhibition (in twelve years) at the gallery. The artist’s new floor and wall sculptures are emblematic of his creative process of scavenging for discarded materials and tinkering with them as they take shape organically.
Foster has always let his ingredients – massive amounts of junk that he collects and inventories – govern the visual characteristics of his sculptures. He allows the materials to “speak” to him as he manipulates, bends, and distorts them. While the development of his subject matter is guided by this loose process of experimentation and invention, the conceptual underpinning of Foster’s oeuvre is based on his concern over man’s disregard for the environment.
Foster’s works are metaphors for survival, ironically demonstrating how the essential materials of nature and man’s invention can be transformed to support human existence, but then are often recklessly consigned to the waste bin. In resurrecting and turning them into exaggerated and distorted forms, Foster cautions us that disrespect for our environment can lead to some very unusual and unexpected consequences.
The four sculptures on exhibit at RARE have a distinctly anatomical aspect to them, perhaps even resembling anatomical specimens. While they are copacetic with Foster’s underlying environmental concerns and related concepts of growth v. decay, science v. spirituality, and death v. resurrection, these works can also be thought of as the artist’s meditations on what it means “to be closely connected to the earth, to live as far on the edge of life as possible for a truly meaningful experience.”
Foster has exhibited at MoMA PS1, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Brigham Young University Museum of Art, University Galleries at Illinois State University, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Torrance Art Museum, Kidspace/MASS MoCA, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, Museum of Art/Ft. Lauderdale, Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, and Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts. In 2014, he participated in a two-person show at The Blender Gallery in Athens, Greece, where Red Bull filmed him for a documentary that can be seen on Red Bull TV. Foster’s works are in many prestigious private and public collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.