Liselott Johnsson: Lifeboat
On view through April 3, 2014
Closing Reception: April 3, 6:30-8PM
Muhlenberg Library–New York Public Library
209 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011
Liselott Johnsson is pleased to present Lifeboat, a site-specific installation in the New York Public Library’s Muhlenberg Library, on view until
April 3, 2014. A closing reception will be held on April 3 from 6:30 to 8 PM.
Transforming Chelsea’s Muhlenberg Library into an evocative site of pictorial and linguistic play, artist and architect Liselott Johnsson’s
Lifeboat features a variety of brightly colored paintings, sculptures and façade installations, revitalizing the way viewers approach the visual
language of hard-edged abstraction. While, at first glance, Johnsson’s vibrant and striking patterns appear to conform to the overexposed
modernist tradition, Johnsson’s paintings come alive when decoded through her own invented visual alphabet, entitled High Modernist Color
Barcode, which links each of her geometric patterns to a singular letter.
Inspired by the visual vocabulary of marine signal systems and emergency safety objects, as well as modernism and Microsoft’s recently
developed High Capacity Color Barcode, Johnsson’s Lifeboat explores the notion that color and pattern can become a code or linguistic
system, highlighting the often overlooked visual systems that dominate our daily lives. Creating a new form of reading on the walls of the
Muhlenberg Library rather than in its collection of books, Lifeboat, once deciphered, turns the quiet environment of the library into a verbal and
visual creative world where hidden and, at times, foreboding meanings can be articulated.
Titled for her conception of a lifeboat as an “in between” space–at once safely rescued and fearful of the future, as well as an absurd Monty
Python sketch, Lifeboat rescues the hackneyed language of high modernist abstraction, opening up new spaces of meaning and uses.
Inviting a unique and inspiring relationship between the installation and its viewers, Lifeboat calls attention to what art and, consequently, the
architecture of the library are saying to us.
Born in Uddevalla, Sweden, Liselott Johnsson currently lives and works in Madison, Georgia and Miami, Florida. Since graduating with her
MFA from the Art Institute of Boston of Lesley University, Johnsson has widely shown in both public architectural installations and art galleries
such as her current installation Hello Polly! This Is Your 9 O’clock Wake-Up Call at the Glass Cube in Hotel Indigo in Athens, Georgia and her
recent large-scale outdoor installation La Poetique des Lavoirs at the historic washing fountains of the alpine village of Saorge in the Alpes-
Maritimes, France. In addition to her solo exhibitions and installations, Johnsson has also appeared in several group shows in museums and
An accomplished architect, as well as a fine artist, Johnsson has worked on numerous single-family, multi-family, mixed-use, office and site
plan projects in France, Sweden, British Virgin Islands and the United States. Her most renowned project Aquamare, a luxury resort in Virgin
Gorda, British Virgin Islands, has been featured in numerous publications, including the book Caribbean Hideaways by Meg Nolan Van
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