Richard Johnson Photographic Artist and Architectural Photographer

BIO

(b. 1957, Hackensack, New Jersey) Richard is a Photographic Artist with a disciplined approach to image making since 1991 as one of Canada’s preeminent Architectural Photographers. Aided by the rigor of working for many years with a large format 4x5 view camera and sheet film, Richard has adopted a classic visual style influenced by mid-century masters Bernd and Hilla Becher. Prior to this, Richard worked for 15 years as an Interior Designer for several of Canada’s leading Design firms. His formal training was at Algonquin College for Interior Design and Carleton University for Engineering.   

ARTIST STATEMENT

I have always been fascinated with small structures. My earliest recollection of shelter was as a 6 year old growing up in Trinidad. It was a guard house for our neighbour. No more than three walls and a lean to roof, it was a simple solution to shade the harsh sun and protect from tropical rains. These shelters, built by individuals with available materials, inspired me to take notice. 

I moved to Montreal in the sixties and built snow forts and backyard igloos. Back then the snow was so deep that school cancellations were a normal occurrence. Come summertime, I rallied with friends and hammered together tree houses, without plans or fear of heights.

Through my photographic studies of Garbage Bins of Wasaga Beach (2003-2005), Chip Wagons of Ontario (2002-2010), and Tobacco Drying Huts of Delhi (2012), I discovered a kind of rural, home grown architecture. Aided by the rigor of working for many years with a large format camera and 4 x 5 sheet film, I have adopted a classic visual style influenced by mid-century masters Bernd and Hilla Becher. My typologies allow images to be read together as a series, where similarities and differences can be easily compared.

My Ice Huts series (2007-2017) explores a seasonal, off the grid, architectural form that must be transportable, while still being weather resistant. This ability to endure extreme winter cold is a complex challenge with unlimited solutions, each as personal as it's owner.

My Ice Villages series (2010-2017) is informed by early landscape master George Barnard who overlapped several images to extend a viewpoint beyond the single frame. These panoramic images explore the need for community, sometimes structured, often random. By returning to the same locations, over time, I have witnessed regional growth and decline.

The images in this series are dedicated to the resourceful people, engaged in ice fishing culture, making our winter-white landscape a little more colourful and infinitely more interesting.

AWARDS & GRANTS

2010 Ontario Arts Council Grant; Emerging Visual Artists

2008 – Contact Portfolio Review - Jury Selected - First Place - Ice Huts, Contact 2008 Photography Festival, Toronto

COLLECTIONS

2016 - Rawlinson and Hunter Chartered Accountants | London, UK

2015 - HOK Architect | Toronto

2014 - McCarthy Tétrault | Toronto

2013 - HomEquity Bank | Toronto

2012 - TD Bank Financial Group | Toronto

2011 – Foreign Affairs Canada | Canadian Embassies Worldwide 

2010 – Edelman Canada Collection | Toronto 

2010 – Foreign Affairs Canada | Canadian Embassies Worldwide 

2008 – Bank of Montreal | Toronto

2007 to present – Private Collectors | Australia, Florida, New York, Los Angeles, Switzerland, United Kingdom, 

CV

2015 – 2016 – Richard Johnson Gallery, Toronto, Ice Huts & Ice Villages 

2014 Guest Speaker Ice Huts Laurentian Architecture School

2014 – Bulthaup Gallery, Toronto, Ice Villages Solo show

2013 – Richard Johnson Gallery, Toronto, Portals of Passion, Solo show

2012 – Richard Johnson Gallery, Toronto, Ice Huts Storm, Solo show

2011 Agnes Jamieson Gallery, Minden, Ice Huts & Ice Villages show

2010 Lester B Pearson Lobby, Ottawa, FACC Collection, Ice Huts Solo show

2010 – Toronto Image Works Gallery, Toronto, Ice Villages Solo show

2009 – Toronto Image Works Gallery, Toronto, Ice Huts Solo show

2009 – Rotunda Gallery, City Hall, Kitchener, Ice Huts Solo show

2009 – GTAA Terminal One, Toronto, Folk Architecture – Ice Huts Solo show

2008 – GTAA Terminal One, Toronto, Ice Huts - Coming Home group show

2008 – Contact Festival group show of juried winners, Toronto, Ice Huts

2007 – Richard Johnson Gallery, Toronto, Ice Huts, first public showing

 

 

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