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James Johnson
September 2 - October 2, 2011

James Johnson is thinking about what it means to be an artist at this particular moment in history. Work is a collection of efforts that attempt to explore some of the questions that inform this position, including: What does it mean to have a studio practice? What does it mean to make objects now? What is the significance of the things that an artist says about his/her work? How is the work itself affected by the way in which these statements are made? If an artist includes him/herself or his/her activities in an artwork, is the work necessarily a performance? What role do other artists’ ideas, works, and activities play in the making and reception of one’s own work? What is an artist’s work about? Why are form, content, subject matter, syntax, and material important considerations? What are the unintended consequences of presenting work in a particular context? How does an artist deal with these consequences once they’ve arisen? What are the economics of being an artist? How is the production of art paid for?

James Johnson (born Syracuse, New York, 1976) received an MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2002 and a BFA from Marywood University in 1999. James currently lives and works in Philadelphia where he is a member of Vox Populi and holds the appointment of Assistant Professor of Photography & Digital Arts at Moore College of Art and Design. James has received several significant recognitions for his work, including a 2011 Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts and a nomination for the 2010 Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He was an Acquisition Finalist for the West Prize in 2009 and has been awarded two Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Fellowships in Sculpture/Installation (2007 and 2009). James completed a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in 2007.