Keith Johnson Photographs


Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Ah, Penland

Monday, October 28th, 2013



Ah, Penland.

My fourth time teaching and the longest stint: eight weeks. It is pretty amazing being immersed in art making with 75 of your best art making friends in the studio and on fieldtrips, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; the dialogue and discourse flows endlessly. With printmakers, blacksmiths, jewelers, potters and glass blowers. Amazing. This is a world class craft school and the experience is world class as well.

The landscape in the mountains of NC about an hour NE of Ashville is endless, as is the beauty. Autumn is upon us and the color hasn’t quit. The horizon is non-existent and the land is right in your face, relentlessly beautiful and way green. It is safe to say that the Carolina mountains are the polar opposite of New Mexico in all ways.

I am teaching a class called the Extended Image that deals with issues of narrative, typology, topology, and time leading to the discussion of what is a photograph supposed to look like any way.  We talk about metaphor, meaning, voice and language. Photography as poetry and image.

We had two crits a day for the first couple of weeks working on some photo calisthenics then launching into a one week project of looking at the land, fashioning some panoramic pictures, breaking rules and making mistakes. More projects to come.

I am having a blast.

Penland School Fall Concentration

Saturday, September 14th, 2013


LXIII in Jerusalem, RI – HBD2Me

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Shameless Blabbage

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The second of two video interviews done by Chris Joy and Zack Keeting at Mercy Gallery at Loomis Chafee School in Windsor, CT.  Click here to see the interview.

In residence, making art. Loving it.

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Eloise Brooke has arrived

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

8:06 12/5/10 it is hard to imagine but there she is, hoo ha!

PDN Photo of the day

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010


Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Hot off the press, the fall issue of  ab ArchitectureBoston, the magazine of the Boston Society of Architects has run six pictures plus the cover including an insightful article by editor Elizabeth Padgen.  Click above to see it on-line.


Saturday, May 15th, 2010

This past week, after 40 years of running Panopticon Gallery,Tony Deaconess has turned over the reins to Jason Landry.

Jason has shaken things up a bit and I expect some moving and shaking going on.  Check out the new site.

Screen shot 2010-05-15 at 3.47.29 PM

My taxes at work.

Monday, May 10th, 2010


PRC Annual Auction

Thursday, October 8th, 2009


I95 Branford is this year’s offering.  Opening is 10/8/09, come see.

Day 5 of the Contemporary Landscape Workshop Crisis

Friday, August 7th, 2009

A fine workshop conducted at Maine Media Workshops finished today with a good time seemingly had by all.  Students made fine progress, lots of pictures made, some of note.  The weather turned out to be spectacular all week.

I leave early tomorrow for Newport and the Jazz Festival there.  I should be a great one.  More soon.

Status Update

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

An interesting show curated by Debbie Hesse and Donna Ruff about the use of social networking tools in art making.  Good tuff.


Friday, March 20th, 2009

The beginning of it anyway; a day that falls midway between the Ides of March and April Fool’s day.  what can that mean?  March remains the cruelest of months.

Today is the first day in 33 years that I do not own a Hasselblad.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

SWC/M 1997-2009

Today is the first day in 33 years that I do not own a Hasselblad.  My good friend for 12 years produced a mess of pictures has gone off to a new home in Austin, TX.  Although emotionally attached to the idea of film and to the venerable Hasselblad name, dropping it off at FedEx today only brought relief knowing that it is going to a good home and that picture making is not (necessarily) camera specific.  It was kind of like dropping your kid off at school.  I have to say: the camera had soul.

As a result of this transaction, a Canon 5D Mk2 will be the replacement (not sure about the soul part) and with it will be pretty big files made through good glass (Zeiss 25/2.8) and I won’t be scanning negs and cleaning them for hours.  I can live with that.  Not much soul though.  Lots of buttons.  Batteries, too.

Life moves along.

McCoy Tyner

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Last night at the Regatta Bar in the Charles Hotel in Cambridge we saw/heard McCoy Tyner.  Boy, he can play.  The trio also including Gary Bartz on saxophones was tight and first rate.  Tyner must be in his 70s and looks it but on stage you would not know it.  He is able to make the piano thunder.  One cool thing was he played a piece dedicated to his teacher: John Coltrane.

Suite Niagara

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Opening February 1 in New Haven at Kehler Liddell Gallery the ten print Suite Niagara plus ten additional grids all from 2008.  I am pretty high on this work as it was the kind of work that presented itself and also told me when the idea was done.  I like that.

Thinking about grids and extended images.

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Falls #4

Why grids? I have been mulling this over for some time now; partly to write a cogent statement about the work and partly to figure out why they are happening at all. I had a long email conversation with Neal Rantoul, a long time user of the grid, about what grids do and, to be sure, his insight helped.

Some historical context first. I began making extended pictures seriously in the early 80s (perhaps even late 70s) but my first extended piece was made in 1971. I still have it in my studio and I can say that beyond the historical context it provides, it is awful. I think that early piece was a result of the book/exhibition by Nathan: “Vision and Expression”. John Wood and my experience at VSW furthered my interest in seeing and thinking beyond the single frame. I think about how frames of film are attached theoretically as well as literally in/about time and this gave basis for my picture making. I also traveled often with Bart Parker whose pictures were extended images within single images by virtue of in-camera collage and then extending those with text and other images. He has always made my head spin around.

Cubist painting gave insight about multiple views. I am not involved with that kind of creation but being able to record views/elevations of front, right center, etc., and see them together was instructional. Much of my early work with extended images was somewhat random and heavy handed, and very literal. Later I learned about typologies (and topologies) to discuss, compare and contrast stuff and conditions.

It seems to me that often when I am attracted to some picture hovering, it is the idea that attracted me. My job as a photographer is to ferret out what that is and then construct/create a compelling visual understanding. The stuff I have been attracted to is interesting as surface or idea or irony but minimal in nature. My involvement with is rarely a single picture but rather 4-8 frames as I attempt to better understand why I stopped in the first place. We speak about bracketing our exposure, our focus, our camera angle. I found I was making a mess of exposures to find or focus on what attracted me in the first place. It is as a result of the contact sheet that the extended pieces evolved, when I would see on the sheet or light table a bunch of related images I could make connections within the connections. The connections reveal the idea of the extended image of the whole being much stronger than the parts.

Then it occurred to me that as the pictures are taken over a period of time, they represent time.  A contact sheet was about the passing of time in a roll of film all connected by the film.  The grids I am working on are about time in the way that film stills are about time.  Connected by the presentation format, and becasue of metadata I know the time that has passed, the interval, and the duration of each frame.  Another layer of meaning.  Additionally the graphic component of what the resultant amalgam of images (often unexpected but invited) and of course the typologic comparison and revealtion.

I am not making this up!

Friday, October 17th, 2008

From Jim Stone at the Heart Attack Grill. Imagine.


Friday, September 19th, 2008

Avast, today is Internationational Talk Like a Pirate Day. Invented 1993, popularized seven years ago by Dave Barry, columnist for the Miami Herald, so talk it up, me heartie .


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