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Of Dreams and Life

Oil paintings by Johan Lowie

Johan Lowie is an internationally acclaimed artist living and working in Frederick, MD. A venerable professional in the vibrant Frederick art scene, he has an MFA from the Royal Academy in Ghent Belgium, his country of origin. He has shown extensively in Europe and the United States. A heart transplant recipient, Lowie explores diverse subjects in his work but returns repeatedly to the intangible, yet deeply emotive spaces that shape human feelings and memory. His works provoke consideration of the liminal spaces between life, death, and dreams.

From landscapes to carefully considered interior spaces, to abstracted figure studies, Lowie’s art works are deeply psychological. He starts out sketching ideas and works towards a particular mood. In the course of depicting a particular feeling, he eliminates unnecessary elements and captures that mood with a simplicity of imagery. Experience describes what we do. The texture of experience describes how we feel. In Lowie’s work, it is emotional texture above all that spurs expression. Lowie’s work challenges viewers, but that challenge gives as much as it takes. Where viewers may first encounter assertive designs and compelling compositions, they soon find themselves forced to reckon with their own relationship to the images. Viewers may not simply view his images, but digest them, integrate them, and ask themselves why they feel the way they do. In an era saturated with invented, inventive images, that provocative moment of introspection may be the most elusive filter.

Lowie's artist statement:

“In a theatrical sense, drama demands that contrasting elements be in direct contact. My paintings present inherently dramatic themes, with bold colors and often primitive geometric shapes sometimes placed in context with more literal images, like a person sitting a chair or a simple piece of furniture. More often, however, color and shape describe their own vocabulary. Figurative evocations generally take a secondary role to purely emotional expressions. Where inspiration may arrive from challenging life experiences like loss, isolation, and pursuit of purpose in life, the tangible aspects of my work speak with strong colors, defined shapes, and confident juxtapositions."