Thursday, June 23, 2016

Artist Tim Johnson's Religious Synthesis on Show at Nancy Sever Gallery in Australia

By Sasha Grishin
Tim Johnson, Panchen Lama with Karma Phuntsok, 2016. Photo: Supplied
AUSTRALIA---Tim Johnson is the great "synthesiser" in Australian art. In Johnson's art, his synthesising goes beyond mere eclecticism, which involves sampling or the absorption of disparate elements: rather it is the integration of different religious iconographies, periods of time and visual codes. In the large glowing canvas Yamantaka, 2016, painted collaboratively with Bogunovic, a floating Chinese temple shares the picture space with traditional Christian iconography from scenes of the Nativity, Annunciation and the Resurrection, Buddhist iconography and the floating UFO. [link]
In another painting, one of the strongest in this exhibition, West Camp 2, 2016, Aboriginal artists squat on the ground working on their canvases, while Buddhist imagery harmoniously accommodates a flying saucer overhead plus grazing animals.