Mark Borghi Fine Art is pleased to present Gregory Johnston’s Ultimate History, his third show with the gallery. The exhibition will consist of wall sculptures created using the parts of vintage racing automobiles. Included in the show are parts from coveted Ferrari and Porsche racecars. Utilizing over 20 years of experience restoring vintage cars, Johnston has transformed these vintage car parts into pristine reflective sculptural works. Within the gallery setting the forms and colors that have come to represent iconic racing teams take on an archeological narrative, referencing the history and culture surrounding racetracks – an Ultimate History. What’s presented is a simultaneous reference to and analysis of the art of luxury automobiles and their preordained race to the finish line.
Porsche and Ferrari both had their start in 1940s Europe, Porsche in Gmund, Austria and Ferrari in Maranello, Italy. Using their iconic forms Johnston latches the historical weight of these manufacturers inextricably to each of his sculptures. Johnston often refers to well known cars from history through the use of decals and racing numbers. The sculptures are made from car hoods, doors, and various other automotive fragments that have each become vital elements of life surrounding the racetrack; a culture that Johnston has studied extensively in his work thanks to childhood memories growing up near Long Beach Grand Prix in Southern California. His style is borne out of his adoration for Abstract painting and classic cars - the sculptures are often framed and set against pixilated or optically illusive patterns. This work is a natural progression from his hand filed, sanded and polished earlier work, which resembled machine made perfection, but were in fact created by hand. This series does not only focus on the perfection of factory production, but also on the exquisiteness that innately occurs over the long life of a vintage car. Johnston presents the full spectrum of the aesthetic possibilities of a racecar– from the carefully rendered rectilinear formal design to the magnificence of a dearly loved entropic object. Through age and function, the works address the bond between creator and creation, car owner and car.
Gregory Johnston lives and works in East Hampton, NY. His last solo exhibition before partnering with MBFA was with Joshua Liner Gallery in NYC. Johnston and his work have been written about in Artsy, Hedge Magazine, Artlog, Elle Décor, Palm Beach Daily News and others.