NEW YORK, N.Y.- Stephen Haller Gallery
presents Johnnie Winona Ross: Seeps, Traces, and Paths, an exhibition of luminous new paintings by the American artist Oct 20th Nov 26th. Ross incandescent works approach the ecstatic. Maureen Mullarkey, City Arts
Washington Post critic Stephen Parks characterized Rosss work in this way: From a distance his canvases appear to be simple, minimal constructions of horizontal stripes with hints of vertical color in the background. Up close the paintings are seen to be extraordinarily beautiful and complex objects that induce a humming meditative state.
Ross grounds his work in the inspiration of the desert of the American Southwest, and borrows techniques from ancient Native American sources, melding them with a distinctly sophisticated and utterly contemporary vision. His use of the Native American technique of burnishing pigment and minerals with a potters stone to create a hard surface with a visually warm sheen creates an effect reminiscent of the softening of marble steps by decades of use.
Curator Laura Addison, of the New Mexico Museum of Art, describes Rosss strategy of distilling a landscape to its immaterial elements and goes on to state, his paintings make visible the immaterial and the intangible, such as centeredness, rhythm, sound, heat, breeze.
In his Foreword to the monograph Johnnie Winona Ross, Douglas Dreishpoon, Senior Curator of the AlbrightKnox Art Gallery, writes:
These paintings embody two worlds: one a realm of serene order; the other more unpredictable, a place prone to accident and surprise encounter. The balancing of divergent realms, fraught with tension, is a salient characteristic of this work, where temporal forces, like imaginary rivers glimpsed from the heavens, surge beneath plains of pure light.
Carter Ratcliff writes: What gives his vision its character, finally, is the brilliance with which he integrates minutiae with overall structures
Rosss art gives us an opportunity to feel an exhilarated engagement with the moment.