Larry Johnson’s first-ever survey exhibition is currently on view at the Hammer Museum. Curated by Russell Ferguson, UCLA’s Art Department Chair, the exhibition follows Johnson career from its infancy in the early ’80s up into the 21st century.
A Californian since birth and a graduate of CalArts–he was privy to the school’s infamous conceptualist think-tank days–Johnson has spent his career merging postmodern headiness with cartoon humor and colliding highbrow with lowbrow. His lighthearted, yet still confrontational, photographs flip the photographic on its head. They don’t even resemble photographs; they resemble drawings or prints, a fact that reflects Johnson’s irreverent process (he scans found imagery and drawings and combines them into one, crisp picture).
An inquisitive and tender essay by Russell Ferguson traces Johnson’s career and appears in the exhibition pamphlet. Also, a film series co-curated by Johnson and artist William E. Jones runs alongside the exhibition, with remaining showings on August 18th and 25th. The exhibition continues through September 6th.