A flattened sense of perspective combined with a geometric representation of light and shadow informs much of the work. This flat surface belies the painterly application of color that appears to dance across the forms- particularly figures. Simplistic marks create objects that appear to be in motion- a nod to Johnson’s background in film making and stop action animation. The use of pattern to create a decorative visual element as well as a sense of space enhance the picture plane.
“I have always admired the early Modernists for their ability to make epic paintings of simple or intimate subjects. Cezanne, Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse, Van Gogh; these artists offer a mythical backdrop for my endeavors. Their works functioning as both a role model and an impossible goal of abstracted representation.”
Johnson reflects: “These paintings were created during the year of Covid-19 and represent a looking closer to home for subjects than I have in past bodies of work. In my previous exhibition at the gallery, I created a series of still lives depicting trash gathered from the Hillsborough River. For this new group of paintings, I didn’t even need to leave the house.”