institutional etiquette and strange overtones: David Johnson’s (b. 1982, Austin, TX) architecturally inspired photographs consider the dynamic between the built environment and its inhabitants, seeking out unexpected interplays of light, color, and form in the public and private spheres. To create his images, Johnson works with traditional large-format photographic processes (similar to those utilized by such noted photographers as Bernd and Hilla Becher and Thomas Struth) and then produces his images digitally. For his Great Rivers Biennial project, Johnson presents a new multi-part photographic series exploring the spaces that constitute CAM’s institutional ecosystem: the museum’s galleries and offices, as well as its donors’ private homes. Shot over several months during late 2011 and early 2012, these photographs capture not only a visually arresting array of interior angles and volumes, but they also signify a dramatic shift between natural and artificial light at various times of day, particularly during increasingly shorter daylight hours to the longer nights of the winter in which they were produced.




David Johnson is an artist based in St. Louis, MO. He received an MFA in Visual Art from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007 and earned his BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography from Texas Christian University. In 2011, David was awarded the Great Rivers Visual Arts Award from the Gateway Foundation. This biennial award culminated with his 2012 exhibition institutional etiquette and strange overtones at the Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis.

His photographs have been exhibited internationally, including: the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis, Mildred Lane Kemper Museum, Fort Wayne Museum of Art and National Building Museum in Washington D.C. Exhibitions also include, The Sheldon Art Galleries, and The Luminary Center for the Arts, in St. Louis, MO; Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio, TX; Candela Books and Gallery, Richmond, VA; La Esquina, Kansas City, MO; Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR; Sydhavn Station, Copenhagen, Denmark; Unisex Salon, Brooklyn, NY; and UG- Zwischenraum für zeitgenössische kunst, Stuttgart, Germany. Lenscratch and the Humble Arts Foundation have featured David’s work online. His work can be found in the collection at The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Currently, Johnson is a Lecturer at Saint Louis University.