The Lazy Sunbathers

Looks like they’re doing some installation work in The Lab’s main space but I’m sure they won’t mind if I slip in to check out a couple of Mariah Johnson’s pieces. The ubiquitous black three ring binder tells me that bed sheets became Johnson’s vehicle of expression based on her mother’s anal need to keep their linen closet looking pristine. I gotta admit, there is something very satisfying about a shelf stacked with uniformly folded and arranged towels or sheets. Further inspiration was found in the hills which surrounded her new home when she moved to California from the Midwest. She imagined the great mounded forms as huge sleepers, friends of the Cerne Abbas giant perhaps, dreaming away the daylight hours. The exhibit’s namesake work How Lovely On the Mountain, takes its name from Isaiah 52:7. The vertical pile of sheets suggests all kinds of disparate objects whose strata is exposed: a layer cake, wood grain or the eroded walls of a cliff face.

Couldn’t find a picture of the piece on the Lab’s homepage, but you can sample Johnson’s work at her excellent website from which I took the image here.


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