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Haus Wittgenstein

review

In 1994, the Scottish artist Alan Johnston exhibited at Haus Wittgenstein, Vienna and, the following year, at eighteenth-century Inverleith House in the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Introducing a belated record of the two shows, Mel Gooding says of the latter: 'I can remember no exhibition in which the work and the world in which it takes place were so perfectly mirrored.' To judge from the photographs in this attractive booklet, Johnston's spartan rectilinear paintings with their restricted palette were equally attuned to the rigor of Wittgenstein's one in architectural work (above). Joseph Masheck's essay, albeit in a tiny typeface tiring to read, is excellent in placing Johnston's paintings in their respective (but related) contexts: a Viennese circle where Adolf Loos held sway, an Edinburgh inspired by the Enlightenment.

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