Harriet Johns


Harriet Johns

Harriet Johns works on multiple scales, from monumental to miniature. But her most ambitious pieces, architectural commissions, and multiple steel panels have always been produced in commercial enamel-on-steel plants. In this tough industrial atmosphere, Johns utilized commercial processes and high temperatures to realize her intensely personal, and abstract vision. The process is long and complex, but this collecton of photos will give a good idea of size and scope of the challenges Johns has always faced and overcome to produce her art...


Collections & Commissions

• Bank of America World Headquarters, San Francisco
• University of San Francisco
• Boise Gallery of Art
• L’Art de l’Emeil, Biennale Internationale, invitational, Limoges, France
• Houston Museum of Fine Art
• Source Gallery, San Francisco
• Art Showplace, Seattle
• Shaw-Rimington Gallery, Toronto
• Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley California
• Richmond Art Center, Berkeley California
• Oakland Museum, Oakland California 

Corporate Collections:
• Hanover Capitol, New York
• Clorox Corporation, Oakland
• Crocker National Bank, San Francisco
• Aluminex, San Francisco
• Transamerica, San Francisco
• Hyatt Regency, San Francisco
• Barclays Bank, San Francisco 

Architectural Commissions (large-scale enamel and enamel mural installations):
• IBM, San Jose California
• US Naval Credit Union, San Diego
• Central Federal Savings, San Diego
• Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dearborn Michigan
• Woodlands Inn, Houston Texas
• Sheraton-Harbor Island Hotel, San Diego
• Plaza Mall, Sacramento Californian
• and numerous private residences 

Harriet Johns began working in enamel in the early 70s at the Pioneer Enamel Plant in Seattle. This medium, largely ignored by the fine art world, was a revelation. Johns knew she had found her natural medium. A lifetime of travel, looking and questioning plus an intuitive feeling for the expressive power of color provide her shifting but internally consistent subject matter. In 1978, in Arequipa Peru, she recorded the following credo in her journals, it is still true:

"It is the immediacy of the impressions, the transience of light, the play of moving clouds, that I seek to record and capture in some fleeting form. it is as if the imprint, the seeing felt on my psyche is to be recalled and developed later. The power of the impressions, the spontaneous, the ever-changing real. It is like the emotional power overriding all. It is Pachamama - the Earth Mother - that I respond to, not the linear, predictable surface, but the gut beneath it - above it all. Encompassing, changing, light, space, form - the intent. Energy. Emotional power."
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