Sunday, August 12, 2012

En Route: Works by Morgan Jones Johnston and Catherine Beaton Dominick

Last weekend, I got to see this show in Birmingham and I was pretty happy with it. Morgan is the cousin of my new husband (so my cousin-in-law?) and this was my first time viewing her painting work. She is a photographer primarily and owns the lifestyle label Rugged and Fancy whose blog site I find myself poring over constantly.

The two artists in their shared studio space

Morgan Jones Johnston (left) and Catherine Beaton Dominick (right)


En Route was situated in one large, red walled room in a trendy restaurant called Rojo. Catherine Beaton Dominick's figural studies had a nice gestural whisper to them; I loved how they were rendered with just the bare minimum of information. They had a nice haunting quality to them that I wish had come through more in her abstract paintings, though I enjoyed both series pretty well.

Catherine's paintings

Catherine's paintings
I was also quite impressed by the amount of pieces they had displayed and that all the painting surfaces were built by the artists and not purchased from an art supply store. They had the work, they had the space, and they unified both in a nice way.

Morgan's

Morgan's

Morgan's

Morgan's
Morgan's paintings had the same gestural and light quality that I loved about Catherine's figures. The pull between areas of thick and thin paint handling were subtle, but spot on. I did have to mention to her that evening that I favored the works on paper more than the paintings she did on canvas. I don't know what it is about working on canvas, but it seems that it is so much easier to overwork or think too hard about the composition when working on what feels like a more permanent surface. For work that is about gesture and limited information, paper is a better surface to work on.

Catherine's

Catherine's
One of the coolest parts about this show is that it is more of a pre-show. The pieces shown here are about to be flown out to the south of France, where they will be on display during a festival. Hence the title, "En Route." Nice work, ladies! Don't forget to check out more of Dominick's work here and for more information about Morgan's awesome stylist adventures, check out this site.

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