Park National Bank Art Gallery
Lament for Aleppo by Justin Johnson
August 1 - September 29, 2021
As war and conflict have continued in the Middle East, social media has played a confrontational role in sensationalizing it. Google search “Sarin Gas Attack,” “Tower at Nimrud,” or “Palmyra” and what you’ll find is too graphic to describe. Antiquity is being destroyed and erased from our collective history as a people. Religious communities and minorities are experiencing the same fate. This unrest has had a profound impact on my motivation to speak as an artist. These images are a response to these horrific acts against humanity.
I am “describing the indescribable,” to lament these victims and tragedies through abstraction - and visualize my feelings that can not be depicted through the pictorial.
These works find their predecessor in the works of the abstract expressionist, Robert Motherwell. His “Elegies to the Spanish Republic” include over 200 variations that were created during a span of over 40 years. This theme was not necessarily tied to a specific event regarding the Spanish Civil War but a meditation into Motherwell’s own struggles with life and death and the constantness of war during the last century.
I struggle with the same emotions in response to current conflicts both internationally and within the United States. The silence of the victims is almost too loud to hear – the way in which history continually repeats itself.
My hope is that these works act as a whisper to the realities that are in front of us as a collective people - that they will gently urge an audience to engage in an understanding of the greater world and that these victims will not be forgotten.definitions.
About the Artist
Justin Johnson is the gallery director for the University of Saint Francis – Fort Wayne, IN (2002-present). He holds both a BA (Fine/Commercial Art) and MA (Studio Art – Drawing). He exhibits his work regionally and has had over 10 solo exhibitions at colleges and universities in the Midwest. In Fall 2021, his work will be included in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s exhibition, Sense of Place – Abstract Art in Northern Indiana.
His work is represented by Crestwoods Gallery - Roanoke, IN. crestwoodsgallery.com
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The gallery schedule is subject to change.
For more information, contact Community Arts at 513-558-1215 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.