Kiel Johnson’s works are meticulous homages to near-obsolete machines. Based in LA, Johnson embraces his signature industrial cardboard to create objects of exacting detail, high skill from low material. Polaroid cameras, boom boxes with cassette tapes, microphones—all are made by hand to reinforce the tactile that has been lost in these times of virtual technology. The centerpiece of the show will be his life-sized faux printing press. Entitled Publish or Perish, the boxy sculpture is composed of a series of cardboard tubes along with a bank of fake batteries to “power” it, a nod to his memories of hearing his newspaper publisher father’s presses humming. His fascination with things continues in his works on paper and site drawings, particularly his piece Everything I Own, which rendered every object in his possession at the time as if laid out for a museum to catalog. The show will feature works from his Publish or Perish series, as well as brand new musical instrument sculptures, including violins and banjos.
In addition to borrowed objects in the show, the Taubman exhibition will also present an interior site painting, as well as an outdoor mural facing the entrance to the museum. This show will be Johnson’s first museum presentation.