at Marty Walker Gallery through November 12
Marty Walker Gallery is nearly always on target with my taste and the exhibition
of Dion Johnson's abstract paintings is no exception. I have been following this
gallery from the night they opened their doors on Farrington Street and I have
been impressed with the selection of artists in their stable and many of their
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|Johnson’s work uses attractive bright colors and the shapes are smooth and organic.
We can recognize a sophisticated abstract work through a combination of colors and
his use of repetition without exactly repeating the shapes. Technique transference is
often times another clue to a successful abstract work. Johnson manages to simulate
this serigraphic method of color change by allowing colors to appear transparent and
moving the colors through the objects.
|Aero, 2011, acrylic and Flashe on canvas, 72 x 48 inches
|Accelerator, 2011, acrylic and Flashe on canvas, 40 x 60 inches
|The paintings have the illusion of motion through the use of simple curved pointed shaped
ends. The rounded shapes drape down like curtains or stalactites in a cave. I like how your
eye moves from top to bottom and back up again in rapid flowing successions. Another
important connection to a good work is if the art has connections to past innovations.
Johnson’s muses on past hard edge color field artists like Karl Benjamin and John
McLaughlin, but with refreshingly less jazz or pure minimal quality.
|Glider, 2011, acrylic and Flashe on canvas, 60 x 160 inches
|Other reviews akin his work to music and I agree that the paintings have a movement
that feels like notes being played. Johnson, however, is harmonizing with much more
than simulation of another form. I think his abstract work reflects not just music, but
sounds and rhythms of life and motion. I hear a more layered effect in these works
like a music mixer sampling multiple tracks from all points of reality. See Dion Johnson’s
exhibition, “New Paintings” at Marty Walker Gallery, which runs through November 12th