This edition of 'Great Stuff' features Ynez Johnston, a California artist who lived from 1920 to 2019. She had a 50 year retrospective at the Mingei in San Diego, called 'Fantastic Voyage', in 2011. The work pictured above is a painting entitled 'Archaic Vessel' (1951), part of the permanent collection at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The medium is, casein on masonite, 18" x 24". ©Ynez Johnston.
Ynez Johnston, 'Voyage of the Mandarins' (1982)
Parallels have been drawn between Ynez' work and that of Paul Klee, Joan Miro and Jean Dubuffet. Nevertheless, I think it would be simplistic to say that her work is 'derivative'. Clearly she has a deep access to the imagination, and a freedom of mind to simply follow where her creativity led her. The stories that she tells through her work are hers, rendered in such a way as to be evocative and inspiring to others.
'Abstract' by Ynez Johnston (LACMA collection)
The purpose of the 'Great Stuff' series is to pay homage to artists and work that I personally find inspiring. Some of the work I will feature will have been created by well known artists of the past; other work will be more obscure, and in some cases will have been done by contemporary artists. The goal is to expand awareness of those who are inspired to create, to 'pay back' in some small way the benefits I derive as an artist from such inspired individuals.
More information about Ynez Johnston can be found here.