The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Ynez Johnston

Ynez Johnston, The Two Canons, 1961

Ynez Johnston (American, 1920-2019)
The Two Canons 1961
Oil on canvas
Gift of Edward Joseph Gallagher, Jr.

Ynez Johnston merged her interests in modernism with ancient art forms she saw in various countries around the world. The etched marks in this painting are vague yet reminiscent of many past and present cultures. The marks also call attention to the tactile quality of the surface—the varying levels of depth and vividness in the symbols create a palimpsest, an object or surface that has been changed and added to over time. Bearing traces of the past, it becomes symbolic of the passage of time and layers of human presence on this earth.