The Human Menagerie

6th – 11th June, open daily 10 – 6pm

Private View 6th June, 6 – 9pm

James F Johnston’s latest solo show ‘The Human Menagerie’ at Fitzrovia Gallery brings together a striking collection of new and recent work on canvas, paper and wood. Peopled by animals and haunted figures, the work reflects both an expressionistic theatricality and a love of symbolist northern landscape painting.

Working primarily in acrylics and gold paste, his paintings are both bold and loose, and marked by their rich and striking use of colour. The often unsettling, totemic, and darkly humorous images are based between the everyday and the world of the imagination, grounded with a sense of simplicity and beauty.

The natural world made unnatural.

Also included in the show are collaborative wooden sculptures made with renowned sculptor Corin Johnson.


James Johnston

Born in 1966, painter and musician James Johnston has primarily been known for his work as a musician -with his own band Gallon Drunk, as a former member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and more recently for his work touring and recording with PJ Harvey.

His turn to figurative painting initially began with working small scale in hotel rooms on tour, and as a reaction to writer’s block, subsequently becoming his primary focus as a daily studio practice.

A prolific painter, exhibiting in group and solo shows, his work has been used on book covers, as album artwork and featured in a variety of international arts publications, with paintings in international private collections, and the collection of the University of Chicago in Paris.

“A remarkable gift for loose, raw painting… that straightaway imprints itself on the viewer’s imagination” – The Economist

“Paintings full of mythic power” – Nick Cave