Artist Seward Johnson, the 2019 ISC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is often hailed in the press as “America’s most popular sculptor.” Johnson began as an oil painter. In 1968, he journeyed into the medium of sculpture where he found his passion – creating a variety of artworks that pay homage to contemporary life, in its most mundane and exquisite detail. Johnson is admired for his uncanny ability to celebrate the visceral moment with superb realism and deft humor.
About the Artist
1930 – 2020
During his over 50 years as a sculptor Johnson made a significant and lasting impact on the landscape of public art. Today, there are more than 400 works in cast bronze featured in public spaces, sculpture gardens, private collections and museums across the globe including London, Paris, New York, Rome, Washington, Los Angeles, Berlin, Madrid, Kiev and Hong Kong. Johnson’s renderings of images from the Impressionist canvases have graced the parks of Paris, and the pieces from his Icons Revisited series, both life-size and monumental, have delighted viewers and art lovers in Australia, China and elsewhere. The works of Seward Johnson invite viewers to examine, as well as celebrate, our essential lifestyles, habits and contemporary culture. His oeuvre is a mirror. One that reflects both the common and the sublime.
Forever Marilyn by Seward Johnson ©1996, 2011 The Seward Johnson Atelier
About the Series: Icons Revisited
With Icons Revisited, sculptor Seward Johnson captures images that have held their impact over generations, becoming embedded in our collective subconscious. This series asks the viewer to consider why certain images stay with us, and how their meaning changes over time. As always, the artist encourages the dialogue that public art should inspire, inviting varied interpretations and opinions. He highlights moments of emotional intensity such as the Times Square embracing couple that came to symbolize the end of World War II. Forever Marilyn epitomizes fame. God Bless America, an homage to Grant Wood’s American Gothic, allows us to take a closer look at the couple, head to toe, well beyond Wood’s canvas. And his re-envisioning of the Mona Lisa brings forward many new perspectives.