The exhibit A Lonely Business: Isabelle Johnson’s Montana was on view in the Bair Museum’s Special Projects Gallery from May 22-August 31, 2015. The exhibition was on loan from the Yellowstone Art Museum. Isabelle Johnson (American, 1901 -1992) was a painter, rancher and teacher and one of the first pioneering modernist painters in Montana. As painter and friend Bill Stockton wrote in Johnson’s 1986 retrospective exhibition at the Yellowstone Art Museum, “she chose her master, Paul Cezanne, early in her career.” Through Cezanne’s work Johnson learned to “look with the eyes of a poet at the very things she loved.” Montana’s landscape, particularly that of the Stillwater Valley and the Absarokee ranch she called home, comes to life in her rich and expressive paintings of the mountains, the cattle and sheep, and the grasslands. Nature is her subject, and her work never shortchanges its complexity.