May/June 2007
Kimberly Johansson curates for Johansson Projects and Ego Park to present Excavations, a first-time exhibition of landscapes that blur the typical boundaries between nature and artifice. Refusing to take our natural landscapes at face value, the eight local artists unearth an improbable array of artifacts that reveal humankind’s increasingly complicated relationship with its environment. How apropos that Johansson Projects breaks ground on it’s new venue, the most recent addition to Oakland’s gallery district, with Excavations, a show exposing and re-rendering natural and urban ‘scapes. The natural environment will prove to encroach on the man-made, with moss hanging from the ceiling and eco-systems sprouting from the walls.
The show includes several renowned earthwork artists. John Roloff, whose work is collected by the Whitney, SFMOMA and de Young and is known primarily for his outdoor kiln/furnace projects done from the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s as well as other large-scale environmental and gallery installations investigating geologic and natural phenomena, has partnered with Lewis deSoto, who has created multimedia installations since the late 1980’s and is collected by LACMA and NYMoMA. Together they have proposed a concept for the Oakland Estuary project. The proposal includes large, inverted text panels along the channel wall designed to be read as reflections on the water surface. The text references the geologic age of the stratigraphic and tectonic structures beneath the Estuary site. Mark Brest van Kempen, previously a Stanford professor, has proposed a series of “impossible parks” such as ‘Jogging Park with Wolves.” Scott Oliver, a graduate of CCA, has disinterred the innards of a conventional armchair, sculpting them into a mountainous vista of Hetch Hetchy Valley that stretches above the chair’s remains.
Misa Inaoka says of her work, “I observe the physical and social environment in detail, to find hidden beauty and peculiarity – things such as cell phone antennae in the shape of a pine tree… or moss growing in the crack of cement sidewalk. I emphasize these subtle details and exaggerate their illogicality to cultivate my own version of invented creatures.”
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Misa Inaoka lives and works in San Francisco, CA and graduated from Mills College in 2006. In her work she melds and contrasts the organic and inorganic worlds found in urban settings. Val Britton, an affiliate artist at the Headlands, uses cut paper, collage and embroidery to map her father’s truck routes.  Jana Flynn, daughter of Homer Flynn of the local band, The Residents, literally constructs her work, cobbling and sewing pieces together to interpret the land. Andrew Benson is a painter and animator who de- and re-constructs basic organic components into gracefully chaotic panoramas.
Johansson Projects is an art gallery that curates established and emerging artists working in diverse media such as painting, electronic art, sculpture, film/video and site specific installation.
2300 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA (415) 999-9140      
The show runs from May 12th through June 8th, 2007.  
Val Britton
Scott Oliver
Johansson Projects, Kimberley Johansson