Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson is a Sydney artist whose career began in the 1960’s. His artistic practices influenced by conceptual art, encompass an extensive range of media, from performance art, live music, photography and painting and have been at the forefront of contemporary art practice in Australia. He is important in the debate of post modern cross–cultural referencing and appropriation as well as discussions about Australia’s interconnection with Asia and Eastern philosophy in comparison to our Western heritage.

Often described as ‘floating worlds,’ Tim Johnson’s extraordinarily compelling paintings embrace the spiritual iconography of a range of cultures. With his own unique artistic language, his paintings are an infusion of pulsating, floating and shimmering landscapes, fields of colour, dots and multi cultural iconography, mythology and imagery. In combination the visual energy and infusion of Australian Aboriginal Papunya dot painting, Buddhist, Hindu, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese symbols from traditional and contemporary culture is somewhat transporting or transcendental, to a different consciousness or metaphysical field, ‘floating world’ or ‘Buddhist Pure Land’. Cross cultural referencing in Johnson’s paintings is implemented through a process of intellectual involvement, respect, collective dialogue and collaboration with artists from different cultural and religious traditions, a result of Johnson’s belief in an art that is induced from life experience.

“I’ve immersed myself in a world of art styles in a number of ways, through travel, study, the information media and from personal contact. The paintings reference a reality that is a bit apart from the modern, materialist, western world. By looking at indigenous, traditional and religious art I found new ways to paint and a new sense of purpose and possibility.” Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson has been extensively exhibited in Biennales across the world and, notably, Documenta IX. His work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, in all state and regional galleries and in major institutional, corporate and private collections in Australia and overseas. In 2009, the Art Gallery of NSW and the Queensland Art Gallery both presented a major survey exhibition of his work.


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