Johanna Winters: Culling the Herd Press Release

Guttenberg Arts Gallery is pleased to present Culling the Herd, a solo exhibition of works by Johanna Winters, currently an Artist in Residence. On view March 6 through March 31, 2015.

The works included in Culling the Herd, dwell upon Johanna Winters’ childhood in the suburban Upper Midwest where over-­indulgence and herd mentality gives way to characterless freeways and strip mall wastelands. Departing from this landscape, she has created a cast of impish characters that both mock and celebrate the gluttony and banality of Middle America and linger in the emotional emptiness that seems to manifest itself in their physical situations. The prints are intimately scaled, framed as an old polaroid would be, showing a happy moment, but these characters are boxed into oddly delicate intaglio prints with precise line work and muted colors that poise their mammalian creatures, confined or restrained within ambiguous and absurd environments on stages that produce an uncanny sense of empathy from their viewers.

As a nod to her influences, which range from tv cartoons and newspaper comics to the sinister works of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, even extending to contemporary artists such as Barry McGee and Kurt Kemp, Winters chooses to use printmaking’s “low­brow” or graphic nature and its history of conveying social commentary. And like these influential artists, Winters places the viewer with her characters in moments of awkwardness to illustrate the absurdity of human nature as a means of processing and deflecting her dismay at the antics and habits of her surroundings, thus inventing a modern day adage.

Johanna Winters is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received a B.A. in studio arts from the University of Wisconsin ­Green Bay. She has worked as the Education Manager at Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis where she taught printmaking to students of all ages and abilities. Most recently she has taught printmaking as an Associate Lecturer at UW­ Green Bay. Johanna’s prints have been included in national juried exhibitions and portfolios, as well as exhibitions in Montreal and Germany. Her work will be part of an upcoming two person show at Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri in 2015.

Exhibition: March 6 through March 31, 2015; Opening reception: March 6, 7­9pm, Artist talk 8:30pm. For more information please contact or (201) ­868­8585. Guttenberg Arts Gallery is free and open to the public by appointment,