Architectural / Monumental / Relief


Figurative / Realism

Installation / Land / Site-specific



Metal (other)






Steve Johnson grew up near Newcastle upon Tyne, and studied undergraduate Fine Art at the University of London Goldsmiths College, and post-graduate Sculpture at Chelsea School of Art. 

He had a place to study Town Planning at University, but chose Art College instead.

Over 40 years, a consistent theme has been this idea of 'architecture as metaphor'.

This means expressing concepts and emotions using the imagery of buildings and the built environment - as oblique symbolism.

One sculpture of a pub belongs to the series 'The Architecture of Pleasure'. Another series of walls he observed in Berlin over a period of 2 years, is titled 'Peripheral Vision'.

Representations of buildings have been used for centuries in Western Art, most exquisitely in the medieval period. That tradition continues in Johnson's art with reference to modern towns and cityscapes.

When we enter a house, library, hospital or bus shelter, we enter a second skin.

The scale of his sculptures is inevitably much, much, smaller than real architecture. 

But his sculptures are not architectural models - they are 'psychological models'.

This term is intended to imply subjectivity, concretized into 3 dimensions.

In other words 'mind' carved, constructed, modelled or cast into 'lumps of stuff', usually picturing the exterior or interior of a building. These are re-presentations of something most of us recognise and move within every day - the built environment of our towns and cities.

Most of the sculptures are installed on a wall, emphasising their pictorial nature and their intention to sit somewhere between an object, a painted drawing and an installation. The 'sculptures' sit somewhere between 2 dimensions and 3 dimensions. Probably somewhere around 2.4.

Steve has exhibited his work throughout the UK and continental Europe, including the Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art Berlin, the City Museum Birmingham, the Hilversum Museum Holland, The Kunsthaus Dresden, the Science Museum London and the Kunstverein Bellevue-Saal Wiesbaden.

His works are held in public collections including the Arts Council England, the Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art Berlin, the Henry Moore Institute Leeds, the Science Museum London, and the Museum Wiesbaden.

He has received funding from, the Arts Council England, the AGBI, the British Council, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation New York, the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, and the Mayor of London pandemic Culture at Risk programme.

Artist residencies have been held in London (Delfina), Berlin (Flutgraben) and the Swiss Alps (Binz 39).

He was a studio practice lecturer in Sculpture at Camberwell and Chelsea Colleges of Art from 1987 to 2010, with occasional visiting lectures and studio practice tutorials at Goldsmiths College and the Slade.

Hi sculptures are in private collections in the UK, continental Europe, the USA and China.

Steve works in his studio, in a factory, in South London 6 days a week.