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David Johns 
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Drew Lenihan


David Johns, "The Crossing," 2014, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60"

Continuing through October 24, 2014

David Johns' show titled "Bil’ Hahodiishlaa" translates, "this is how I made it" in the artist's indigenous language, Diné. It is a strong group of paintings central to which is a spiritual bent conceptually based in references to Navajo symbolism and an allegory to Johns' identity and heritage as a Diné, or Navajo artist. The paintings showcase abstract, somewhat oscillating acrylics on canvas that serve as self-reflection on life for the artist.

In Diné culture the four original colors of black, white blue and yellow contain myriad meanings of time, seasons, paths of life and states of mind. The abstract, morphing geometry of the group of paintings also reflect the natural world of the Southwest with dark reds, vibrant yellows, turquoise and subtle earth tones. Each painting develops a visual rhythm that is contemplative and spiritual, not just for the artist during the process of creation, but also for the viewer as one walks through the show and begins to see the patterns and similarities among various paintings. Johns' work is a whispering soliloquy of morphing, geometry and a visual response to the beliefs and teachings of his ancestry.


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