Rosita Johanson
Garden of Eden, ca. 1990–95
Dyed cotton fabric, dyed cotton thread, metallic thread, and acrylic paint
8 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photography: Jon Bolton

Collection Focus: Rosita Johanson

October 21, 2012 – February 3, 2013

This exhibition offers an in-depth experience of the work of late Canadian artist Rosita Johanson (1937-2007). A dressmaker by trade, fiber artist Johanson applied her natural ability of working with thread and fabric to creating colorful, embroidered narratives full of people, animals, and activity. This Collection Focus series solo exhibition at RAM offers 20 works created in the 1990s and early 2000s that together form an archive of Johanson’s working methods and her subject matter over a prolonged period of time.

Drawing on childhood memories, her imagination, and stories her father told her, as well as some topical political and social issues, Johanson would piece together compositions using appliqué, machine embroidery, and hand-stitching. Her small-scale designs (sizes range from 3 x 4 to 8 x 8 inches), which often began as sketches, culminated in layers of thread and fabric.

As an artist, Johanson was largely self-taught-she learned many of her methods of working from a lifetime of being near people interested in fiber and thread, and through her own investigations as an adult. She had two primary methods for executing her compositions-a combination of hand and machine stitching or punch needle embroidery (also known as loop pile embroidery), which creates a surface similar to a miniature pile carpet. In addition, her textiles exhibit a strong interest in visual collage as she combined fabric with fiber and found object elements. Johanson began presenting her work in professional venues in the mid-1980s. From 1984 through 1994 she regularly participated in outdoor art exhibitions in Toronto. However, it was her inclusion in the 6th and 7th International Biennale of Miniature Textiles in Hungary (1986 and 1988) that led to important international recognition of her work, including representation by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to the Racine Art Museum, Johanson’s works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Jean Lurçat Museum in Angers, France.

More About the Exhibition

Exhibition Catalogue, available to purchase from the RAM Online Store

Collection Focus: Rosita Johanson

October 21, 2012 – February 3, 2013
Rosita Johanson
Garden of Eden, ca. 1990–95
Dyed cotton fabric, dyed cotton thread, metallic thread, and acrylic paint
8 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photography: Jon Bolton

This exhibition offers an in-depth experience of the work of late Canadian artist Rosita Johanson (1937-2007). A dressmaker by trade, fiber artist Johanson applied her natural ability of working with thread and fabric to creating colorful, embroidered narratives full of people, animals, and activity. This Collection Focus series solo exhibition at RAM offers 20 works created in the 1990s and early 2000s that together form an archive of Johanson’s working methods and her subject matter over a prolonged period of time.

Drawing on childhood memories, her imagination, and stories her father told her, as well as some topical political and social issues, Johanson would piece together compositions using appliqué, machine embroidery, and hand-stitching. Her small-scale designs (sizes range from 3 x 4 to 8 x 8 inches), which often began as sketches, culminated in layers of thread and fabric.

As an artist, Johanson was largely self-taught-she learned many of her methods of working from a lifetime of being near people interested in fiber and thread, and through her own investigations as an adult. She had two primary methods for executing her compositions-a combination of hand and machine stitching or punch needle embroidery (also known as loop pile embroidery), which creates a surface similar to a miniature pile carpet. In addition, her textiles exhibit a strong interest in visual collage as she combined fabric with fiber and found object elements. Johanson began presenting her work in professional venues in the mid-1980s. From 1984 through 1994 she regularly participated in outdoor art exhibitions in Toronto. However, it was her inclusion in the 6th and 7th International Biennale of Miniature Textiles in Hungary (1986 and 1988) that led to important international recognition of her work, including representation by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to the Racine Art Museum, Johanson’s works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Jean Lurçat Museum in Angers, France.

More About the Exhibition

Exhibition Catalogue, available to purchase from the RAM Online Store

Gallery of Work

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

The Estate of Karen Johnson Boyd
David Charak
Judith and David Flegel Fund
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Racine Community Foundation logo
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

City of Racine’s Grow Racine Grant
Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation
Ruth Arts Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Anonymous
Tom and Irene Creecy
Richard and Patricia Ehlert
Trio Foundation of St. Louis
W.T. Walker Group, Inc.
Wisconsin Arts Board

Silver Sponsors

Anonymous
Baird
Beta Diagnostic Labs
A.C. Buhler Family
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Jim Harris
Sharon and Tom Harty
Horizon Retail Construction, Inc.
Lise Iwon
J. Jeffers & Co.
Johnson Financial Group
Dorothy MacVicar
Jan Serr and John Shannon

Bronze Sponsors

Ellen and Joseph Albrecht
Andis Foundation
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Dave’s Wine Garage
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Bill and Debbie Keland
Susan Manalli
Jean and Alex Mandli, Jr.
The Prairie School
Cathy Stanghellin
Twin Disc, Inc.

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