Heskin Contemporary is pleased to present Erick Johnson in his first solo exhibition at the gallery, Parallelogram Paintings. This exhibition will be a new series of oil paintings and will also include a selection of gouache and ink works on paper.
Since the 90’s, Johnson’s conceptual approach to painting has moved between the poles of organic and geometric abstraction often foregrounding either a strong graphic impulse or planar areas of color. Now, a generous painterly dialogue is instigated by Johnson enlisting color field, gestural, minimal and geometric abstraction to balance and contain these competing impulses into dynamic, bold and engaging visual experiences.
Constructed mainly of slanted bands stacked horizontally over fields of linear under painting, these geometric abstractions are immediately familiar, recalling something urban yet harmonious, ordered yet unpredictable. They also suggest in their leaning-to-the-right shaped forms; cars, trains, trucks and buses. They evoke the speed and whir of life in a crowded metropolitan center. In ‘Strat‘, planar areas of vibrant, thoughtfully weighted color abut each other, leaving thin cracks between their soft-edged geometries where painterly decisions can be witnessed. Like a door ajar on a busy street, the fissures allow a glimpse from one realm to another, as from a public to a private space, and we become aware that these paintings will speak of more than speed, motion and rhythm.
Johnson explores the psychological and expressive potential of color and color relationships in an ongoing investigation of how rhythm, form and color can convey lived experience. A simple structure; a triplet of parallelograms in “Flat Third” belies the careful tuning of space, delicate lines, sensitive edges, nuanced colors, that, like a face can conceal worlds within worlds. Johnson’s geometries are imbued with an improvisational quality through surface textures that occur during the process allowing the works to achieve a rare vitality.
Erick Johnson was born in San Francisco and lived in LA until 7 yrs old. He received an MFA from Bard in 2004, has shown with Geoff Young Gallery in Gt. Barrington and Whitespace Gallery in Atlanta, as well as in numerous group shows in galleries in New York City where he lives with his wife and young daughter. This is his first exhibition at Heskin Contemporary. There will be a catalog adjoining the exhibition.