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Processes and Materials: Art by Jacqueline Bell Johnson

A sculpture made up of found materials and hardwareBeauty in the Beast, wood, paint, merino and camel wool, dye, paint, hardware

Jacqueline Bell Johnson is a sculptor and installation artist currently based in the Los Angeles area of California. Jacqueline’s practice explores the processes and materials of art-making, often drawing inspiration from arts and crafts, and utilizing unexpected or “lowbrow” materials.


A sculpture hung within a metal fencing frameA Solution for a Wall, found gate, safety pins, wire, jack chain, plaster

 

I really appreciate the way that Jacqueline is able to construct new and interesting -- and sometimes alien -- forms from materials that are often, in the artist’s own words, “readily available to consumers at the local big box store.” The use of everyday materials in sculptures that are usually firmly situated in the realm of “fine art” lends an additional conceptual layer to many of the pieces, forcing the viewer to think not only about the piece as it exists now, but the multitude of materials and processes that went into creating not only the artwork, but its base components.


A screen capture of Jacqueline Bell Johnson's art portfolio websitewww.jacquelinebelljohnson.com

 

The artist’s affinity for the arts and crafts sphere makes it easy to draw parallels between her work and the work of arts and crafts pioneers like Miriam Schapiro or Katherine Westphal. Looking at Jacqueline’s pieces, one is forced to contend with the question of what exactly elevates craft into art, and whether or not that division is necessary.


A detail photo of an art piece made up of overlapping coloured fabricStarburst (detail with reflection), cheesecloth, dye, steel hardware


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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