Palm Springs Modernism Show
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AfterGlow: The Palm Springs Modernism Online Showcase

Mon, Feb 19, 2024 07:00PM EST - Fri, Mar 1, 2024 07:00PM EST
Lot 283

Shallot

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Pin mounted cast Jahn sculpture of a shallot. Mineral stain finish. The shoots are stained bronze with an epoxy resin clear topcoat. The oiled green locust wood base has a footprint of 9 X 9 inches. The overall height of the piece is 30 inches.

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Artist Bio

For C.A. Johnson Sculpture

Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Charles A. Johnson studied under the late TJ Dixon of San Diego for years before moving to NYC to earn a Masters in Figurative Sculpture from the Graduate School of Figurative Art of The New York Academy of Art. He assisted Nina Akamu on the Leonardo Horse and now makes his bread-and-butter money restoring high-end antique garden ornament. This is his 21st year to work as conservator technician for the preeminent Barbara Israel of Barbara Israel Garden Antiques in Katonah, NY.

While17 years ago, Johnson began creating outsized botanical sculpture purely for his interest in the beautiful form, he like all artists found his work to be self-portrait. Some of his sculptures in this Modernism Show explore some elements of family systems and events found in generational trauma. Johnson, with a master’s in counseling psychology, worked in family therapy in San Diego, CA for seven years.

Through whimsy and sometimes a conflation of ideas, Johnson creates pieces like The Lima bean Matriarchal Herd. This idea is a take on animal herds in the wild who stand in circles protecting the most vulnerable in that herd, such as children and the elderly or the sick. The shallot is symbolic of potential, possibility, and purpose in childhood. Any fruit or seed, such as the apple, carries symbolism of the family unit. If you notice the business card photo, you can see that the apple is imperfect. The idea is that even the imperfect apple protects its seeds.

Even though Johnson is a trained figurative sculptor, his botanical studies are included in a figurative description because they are representational and created in convex form.

Johnson has won awards including Best in Show at Studio 364 in Brooklyn, NY and Best in Show in the Architectural Digest Trade Show in New York City. He is recognized in WAG magazine and published in the Langdon Review of The Arts in Texas.

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Materials

Johnson is an additive sculptor who works in clay. He makes molds of his creations and casts in Jahn, Jesmonite and bronze. Some of his pieces are mounted on green locust wood.

Jahn

This German casting mortar is top of the line and respected all over the world. This elegant workable system is breathable and can be mixed to match any stone on earth. The shiny glaze-like surface found on many of Johnson’s sculptures is that which can be found on sculpture restoration and the restoration of glazed tiles on buildings, terra cotta, and stoneware. 

Jesmonite

Jesmonite is also used in stone restoration of objects and buildings throughout the world. It is comprised of crushed white marble and crushed glass.

Bronze

Johnson’s sculpture that includes elements of stems or shoots, is cast in bronze. Any sculpture may be commissioned completely to be cast in bronze. The string beans are his first subject cast fully in bronze.

Green Locust Wood

This wood is chosen by Johnson for its beautiful grain, and long-lasting natural cracking and splitting. This wood is used as fence posts for barbed wire cow pastures in Texas because of its long-life capacity. Recently Johnson restored a stone birdbath for a JFK historical home on the Hudson River. While installing the completed birdbath in a private garden there on the property, Johnson was told that the green locust wood trellis work on the inside of the Beatrix Farrand Garden was installed in 1906.

Condition

7/7, limited edition of seven.

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