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Burning Mountain 2 by George Johanson

  • Title: Burning Mountain 2
  • Artist: George Johanson
  • Medium: Acrylic on canvas
  • Size: 48"h x 39.5"w
  • Creation date: 1983
  • Added to collection: 2004
  • Donor: Purchased by Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B9/1 East entrance

The title of refers to the eruption of Mt. St. Helen's in 1980, juxtaposed with the Vista Bridge, visible from Johanson's house.  The dizzying overlapping of planes (including an open book on Picasso) with cats both inside and outside on the deck creates a dynamic pictorial space that is both terrifying and playful.  The painting was begun on a red toned canvas (a technique Johanson borrowed from his teacher and colleague Jack McLarty) which unifies the color and creates the sense of fire and hot ash.  Johanson used the eruption of Mt. St. Helens a recurrent image in his paintings from this period.