Séance: Exhibition by Carla Rae Johnson
Tuesday, January 16 – Saturday, March 10
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 21, 2018
Fine Arts Gallery
Westchester Community College
Academic Arts Building 3rd Floor
75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla New York 10595
Gallery Hours: Mon–Sat 10am–3pm + Thu 4–6pm
Imagine Bessie Smith at the piano with Beethoven. Picture Emily Dickinson playing chess with Marcel Duchamp. What would Anne Frank discuss with Albert Schweitzer? “Séance,” an exhibition by artist Carla Rae Johnson, stages imaginary meetings between inspiring individuals who never met during their lifetimes.
While Emily Dickinson and Marcel Duchamp meet to play a game of “chess,” word games occupy Hildegard of Bingen and Herman Melville who float on a sea of letter tiles. As Bessie Smith and Ludwig Van Beethoven gather at the piano, Audre Lorde and Abraham Lincoln build a bridge. Georgia O’Keeffe and Galileo Galilei search the heavens and the earth in a game of “I Spy” and Anne Frank and Albert Schweitzer play “Hide and Seek.” (Unexpectedly, it is Anne who seeks and Albert who hides.) Finally, in a work-in-progress, Frida Kahlo meets Franz Kafka to ponder human suffering while playing “Ring-Around-the-Rosie.” Thought-provoking and carefully researched, these drawings and sculptures are beautifully suited to exhibition on a college campus.
Carla Rae Johnson, a professor at Westchester Community College for 13 years, taught drawing and 3-d design in the Art Department. In 2016, she retired to work full-time in her studio. As an artist, Carla Rae’s work includes drawing, sculpture, conceptual, performance, and installation art. Her work is directly connected to ideas and often addresses issues of social, political, and cultural import. Carla Rae Johnson is a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Drawing, a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Sculpture, and a 1990 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Her work has been exhibited in solo, invitational, and curated shows in museums and galleries in New York City and nationally.
Photo by Howard Goodman