Erick Johnson: Cross/Currents
Nov 30 - Dec 22 2023
- 14 days left
Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition of paintings by Erick Johnson. “Cross/Currents” will run from November 30 - December 22, 2023 with an opening reception on November 30th from 5-7. It will be the first exhibition held at the gallery’s newest location, located at 179 Tenth Avenue in Chelsea, and is Johnson’s second solo show at the gallery.
In "Cross/Currents," Erick Johnson invites the viewer to ponder the paradox of infusing movement into what appears to be a static visual field. This series tests the tension between possible binaries: shape vs field, design vs paint, exactitude vs entropy and above all, the static vs movement. As Stephen Maine puts it,” Johnson has a fundamental motivating hypothesis: How do you get something to ‘move’ that’s not really moving at all?”
At the heart of Johnson's approach to painting is his use of an imperfect grid consisting of irregular polygons. They are sometimes divided into smaller polygons but always painted with luminous transparent colors, employing washes and overlays that create a visual symphony of relational color juxtapositions. “I paint each polygon with successive overlapping bands of color, which are dragged and scraped using various tools,” Johnson says. These tools are handmade and work to create graphic striations and a visual record of movement by the hand. How color and shape work together to create complexity and resolution is an enduring interest for Johnson.
Johnson treats each polygon as a singular area of focus - a painting unto itself that must relate to the painting’s ecosystem. The paradox of stillness and movement invites the viewer to create relationships and differences in their own mind, resulting in a gentle but persistent tension, causing the paintings to pulsate with energy– a phenomenon Johnson aptly dubs “escape from stasis.”
Erick Johnson holds an MFA from Bard College and a BFA from Empire State College. He has presented notable solo exhibitions, including at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, VT, and Gallery Neptune & Brown, Wash DC. He has also participated in group exhibitions at LABspace, in Hillsdale, NY, Bernays Fine Art in Great Barrington, MA, and Furnace: Art on Paper Archive in Falls Village, CT amongst others. He is a new 2023 member of the historic American Abstract Artists group and lives and works in New York City.