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George Johnson

Earth Growth, 1962

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Catalogue number: 13

enamel on board

244.00 x 183.00

signed & dated l.r.

Provenance:

The Artist

Exhibited:

George Johnson, Argus Gallery, Melbourne, 1962, no 25;
Survey - Crawford, French, Johnson, Kemp, Senbergs, National Gallery of Victoria, 1965, no 2;
Helena Rubenstein Scholarship, Art Gallery of NSW, 1962;
Gallery A, Melbourne, Inaugural group exhibition, 1963;
George Johnson - Survey, Charles Nodrum Gallery, June 1986, no 7; George Johnson - 50 years of Abstract Art, 1952 - 2002, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, July 2002

Literature & references:

John Reed, New Painting 1952-62 (the Arts in Australia series), Longmans, Melbourne, 1963, p 78;
C. Heathcote & J. Zimmer, George Johnson World View, MacMillan, 2006, illus pp. 38, 212, 216, 230 - Text p 50 & 231:

Earth Growth is Johnson's major work of the 1960s and his exhibitions received careful attention at the time. Bill Hannen, in a characteristically insightful review of the Argus show (Square toothed Cogwheel, the Bulletin, 2 April 1962) wrote George Johnson is one of Melbourne's least-known good painters. Now, in a fine one-man show, he emerges as a commanding painter. His abstraction is still as strict and as sharp as ever, but it is of that rare type which, whilst sticking to severe limits in shapes and tonings, offers an apparently limitless range of variations. The basic figure is a large, roughly drawn interlocking block, reminiscent of a square-toothed cogwheel, or of crenellations. It is remarkable to see what Johnson can contrive to suggest by varying this one figure. Alan McCulloch (Pinking shears and moonscapes, Herald, 28 March 1962) was equally impressed: To paint successfully with a pair of pinking shears sounds like an improbable achievement. Painting with keys is the same ... With him however these objects develop extraordinary vitality and animation, forming their own strange, molecular society. It is his own society that the artist is looking at of course, but instead of plunging into it, like an expressionist for example, he prefers to see it in the abstract.

Quoted in Heathcote and Zimmer, op cit, p 231.

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Exhibition Catalogue

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1971

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David Aspden

1977

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Michael Taylor

1973

oil on canvas, 183.00 x 122.00

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1962

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Leonard Crawford

1961

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Leonard French

1963 - 1964

enamel on hessian covered hardboard, 122.00 x 137.00

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Cycle

Leonard Crawford

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George Johnson

1962

enamel on board, 244.00 x 183.00

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Anton Holzner

1987

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(Untitled 9)

Roger Kemp

1965

enamel on board, 102.00 x 116.00

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Peter Upward

1971

acrylic on canvas, 182.50 x 122.00

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Peter Upward

1963

PVA on board, 60.50 x 45.50

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Stanislaus Rapotec

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David Rankin

1969

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Tony Tuckson

c. 1957

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Paul Partos

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2009

oil on Belgian linen, 152.00 x 152.00

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Godfrey Miller

oil and pencil on canvas, 90.00 x 80.00

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Michael Johnson

1968

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Tony McGillick

1968

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Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.