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 Hale Johnson  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/New Jersey      Known for: New England rural landscape painting

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A. Hale Johnson is primarily known as Hale Johnson

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Ad Code: 4
A Hale Johnson
from Auction House Records.
Barn Window
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Hale Johnson was originally from New Jersey, but has lived in rural Western Massachusetts for over 30 years. He attended the Lafayette College and Newark School of Fine Art and has had over 55 solo exhibitions nationwide.

Hale Johnson is an oil landscapist of four decades and is established as a great American Realist painter akin to Andrew Wyeth and Eric Sloan. He is most noted for his stark yet emotive landscapes of iconic New England. Using oil against a medium grey ground which is applied to canvas or panel surface, Hale's large works are completed from on site studies.

From his rural home he intentionally seeks locations that evoke strong response to the history of the land and the people who toil there. Often featuring weathered barns, boats, and well used farm equipment, Hale's paintings represent a quiet restrain and delicate sensitivity to detail. There is a fascination with texture - particularly that of old paint peeled woods, rugged grasses, and craggy rocks. Each composition balances his tight precision with areas of loosely brushed strokes, relieving the eye, providing relational distances, and allowing Hale to control focus. This technique has developed over the course of his career, becoming "more painterly".

Johnson's works betray a deep interest in regional history. When asked about his works, he says "I just simply can't sit and paint a vase of flowers for two hours. It just doesn’t interest me." He admires the historic structures in New England because they are "set right to the land." These depictions of architecture and working tools speak to the human struggle for survival in the challenging climate of the region.

Hale Johnson is a member of the American Artists Professional League, the Academic Artist's Association, the Grumbacher Award, the Copley Society, the Berkshire Art Association and the Salmagundi Club.


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Of his painting, Hale Johnson says "I paint solitude, but not loneliness." He is known for his still, spare, iconic landscapes of New England, Pennsylvania, and the British Isles.

Johnson is a native of New Jersey, and attended the Newark School of Fine Art and Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. He has lived in rural western Massachusetts for thirty years and paints in his home and studio in the hill town of Colrain, Massachusetts. 

An oil painter, Johnson reinterprets the American realist style by combining the relics of the past with the present and future.

In choosing subject matter, he stretches beyond purely aesthetic scenes to find a location that strikes a certain emotional chord, thereby associating the self with the work of art. His landscapes seem frozen in time, yet represent a simultaneous timelessness, rooted in the regional history around him. In referring to his landscapes, he mentions that he loves the old historic structures because they “set right to the land.”

His depictions of architecture and working tools are intended to speak to the human struggle for survival in a challenging climate of New England.

Website of the artist
William Baczek Fine Arts

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