Processes and Materials: Art by Jacqueline Bell Johnson
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.
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.
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.