T. S. Eliot said, “to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” 2019 felt like the end of a season and, 2021 a new vantage point by which to evaluate, fuse into orbit fragmented pieces of changing season, history, experience and memory. These works deal in various forms with “the end,” but also with the space between the end and the beginning. They are in part a product of the Adrian Johnston’s quarantine labors to integrate past-present-future—painting is a means to live forward today in light of what is past.
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Drawing is the practice of collecting and ordering values through the sharpest of divisions. The line—the coursing vein of inspiration—becomes story, prophetic and well-chewed, an active portrait whose silhouette contains all possibilities, and an atmosphere in which to learn the objective, to realize the divide between surface and form, and discover the personality in the abstract.
Painting is very like skin—thin ephemeral layers composed of supernumerary marks; a formless whole that speaks of identity, whether through its minute linear swatches, or the reflection of the architecture and systems it covers. And perhaps, like the living organ, painting is a journey on which one never knows the destination.