Beyond the Frame

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Seward Johnson’s Beyond the Frame series was triggered by his love of nature and his admiration of the paintings of the French Impressionists and Post Impressionists. He began his work on the series in 1994 inspired by his deep involvement in the creation of Grounds For Sculpture and his focus on incorporating art within nature throughout the sculpture park.

Johnson settled on creating three-dimensional transformations of some of his favorite paintings by French Impressionist and Post Impressionist painters. He chose works by Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir but soon sculptures based on the paintings of Édouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh and Gustave Caillebotte. Johnson envisioned these works as environments in which the viewer becomes totally immersed in the three-dimensional journey within the painting, hence “beyond the frame.”

In a voyeuristic-like experience, viewers explore the scene within the picture frame of each of the works of these masters to discover not only the power of the individual compositions from a new vantage point, but to discover other visual information created by Johnson.