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About Claudette Johnson
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Claudette Johnson (b. 1959, Manchester; lives and works in London)
Johnson is adept at capturing her sitters’ physical attitudes, by turns defiant and wary, funny and challenging, and often with a tender intimacy. Her formal mastery in framing the figure is sharply observed and in conversation with the histories of figuration and the black body in European art. She explores how women in particular occupy space and how the figure can ‘reach out to the boundaries of the frame… sometimes existing beyond.’ Working at large scale, the artist has developed a technique of drawing that she has compared to dancing and jazz in its stretching, rhythm and moments of improvisation.
Recent solo exhibitions include I Came to Dance, Modern Art Oxford (2019) with a forthcoming show at Hollybush Gardens, London, in 2021. Johnson also participated in Close: Drawn Portraits, The Drawing Room, London (2018) and The Place Is Here, South London Gallery, London, and Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2017). Her work is held in collections including Tate, Arts Council, British Council and the Rennie Collection Vancouver, BC.