We have been entranced by YNEZ JOHNSTON’s personal narratives and idiosyncratic techniques. Her historical journey began in 1946, when she graduated from University of California, Berkeley with honors as a painter and printmaker. Her early work reflected the environment of San Francisco’s Chinatown as well as the hills and tempo of the city. While teaching at UC Berkeley she earned an MFA, followed by travels in Europe and Mexico.
In 1951 she moved to Los Angeles to teach at Chouinard Art Institute. Early grants from the Huntington Hartford, Tiffany and Guggenheim Foundations for her painting and printmaking led to national and international exhibitions and a NEA grant. Extended itineraries in India and Europe enhanced her visual experiences to be expressed through etchings and woodcuts, collages, paintings, wood and bronze sculptures.Ynez Johnston makes dramatic use of jewel-like colors and bold lines as she references romantic and mystic cultures. The viewer is guided through fantastic kingdoms, exotic structures and magical settings that suggest teeming cities, ambiguous landscapes, voluptuous royal trappings and improbable vehicles.From the Whitney Museum of American Art to the Art Institute of Chicago, from San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, her art has been celebrated in solo exhibitions. Galleries from Los Angeles, London, Chicago, Tokyo, New York and others throughout Europe and the United States have followed with their own solo shows.Ynez Johnston excites the imagination that lies within most of us!