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21c Museum to Unveil Three Never Before Exhibited Pieces by Simen Johan
Steve Wilson poses at 21c Museum Hotel, in Louisville, Ky. Wilson developed and owns 21c with his wife Laura Lee Brown, a descendant of the founder of Louisville-based liquor giant Brown-Forman Corp. Wilson stands next to an untitled work by American artist Rob de Mar made of mixed media, felt and iron. AP Photo/Brian Bohannon.

LOUISVILLE, KY.- 21c Museum will unveil three pieces by Simen Johan that have never before been on public view in a ten-year survey of the artist’s work. The two photographs and one sculpture to be displayed for the first time are new additions to Johan’s Until the Kingdom Comes series. As with the other works in the series, Untitled #152, 2008 (Bears), Untitled #155, 2010 (Frog eating bird) and Untitled #161, 2010 (Chicken) blur the line between fantasy and reality in the natural world. The exhibition features 21 photographs and sculptures—including works from the artist’s earlier series Evidence of Things Unseen—and will be on view at 21c Museum Hotel from July 2 through October 4. Many of the pieces in the show will then travel to the Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, where they will be on view from February 20 to May 29, 2011.

“21c has organized Until the Kingdom Comes as part of an ongoing series of solo exhibitions that highlight individual artists represented in the 21c collection,” said William Morrow, Director of 21c Museum. “Solo exhibitions like this allow us to share the breadth and talent of contemporary artists with our diverse audience. We have been collecting Johan’s work since 2006, and are particularly excited to bring ten years of his work together for the first time.”

Using digitally manipulated photography and artistically altered taxidermy, Johan explores how we view the world through imagination and emotion rather than reason. “In a reality where understanding is not finite and in all probability never will be,” said Johan, “I depict ‘living’ as an emotion-driven experience, engulfed in uncertainty, desire and illusion.”

In addition to the new works, the exhibition also includes loans from private collections and galleries and five works from the 21c Museum collection. Johan has been widely exhibited internationally, and his works are also in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and other museums and private collections. Johan’s first monograph, Room to Play, was published by Twin Palms in 2003.

Born in Norway and raised in Sweden, Johan earned his B.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he currently resides.

21c Museum | Simen Johan | William Morrow |

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