'They Regard Us As We Regard Them', Nicholas William Johnson
This book was published, on the occasion of the solo exhibition 'They Regard Us As We Regard Them' by Nicholas William Johnson (b. 1982, Honolulu, USA).
‘A Pure and Rigorous Aesthetic’
The botanist Francis Hallé observes that, ‘plants elaborate themselves according to strict rules, rules that lead to the conceptualisation of models’. The dynamics of these models and their further implications are investigated in Nicholas William Johnson’s new paintings. In his works these rules are altered – flowers bloom in digital arrays, fruits and leaves are suspended in double helices. Johnson renders plants – other lifeforms – as dynamic, interactive systems, examining our often-unquestioned belief in the passivity of nature. Repetition of botanical forms in futuristic digital arrays confers the idea that they constitute systems of information. Plants and trees are systems that reiterate, recursive nestings of individual elements, to form an interconnected colonial system.