DION JOHNSON: Color Chords: New Paintings and Works on Paper

INSTALLATION PHOTOGRAPHS

Exhibition on view through June 28, 2017
LOCATION: Werkartz 927 S. Santa Fe Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90021
HOURS: Wednesday - Sunday 12:00 - 6:00PM

DION JOHNSON : COLOR CHORDS : Solo Exhibition

DATES: June 4 - June 28, 2017

OPENING RECEPTION : Sunday June 4, 2:00PM - 6:00 PM

LOCATION:  WERKARTZ  (@werkartz) / 927 S. Santa Fe Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90021

REGULAR HOURS : Wednesday - Sunday 12:00pm - 6:00 pm
 

 Dion Johnson, Dream Racer, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72 inches

Dion Johnson, Dream Racer, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72 inches

Western Project is proud to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Dion Johnson. This new body of work, Color Chords, will be shown at Werkartz in downtown Los Angeles. 

Influenced by his recent trekking through the Himalayas in Nepal, along with the natural and urban terrain of Southern California, Johnson has found new compositions and color relationships for his abstract language. Like his predecessor, John McLaughlin, Johnson has found a bridge between an Eastern sensibility and Western iconography. This appears primarily in his spatial relationships; dense color fields and gradient atmospheres suggest skies, water, or glowing city nights. While one could sense a familiarity with Turrell environments, Johnson's scale is far more intimate: a feeling of some internal vision, or steep vista, or perhaps as an abstract thangka. It is the play of solid color fields and ambient gradations, which make these works a melding of the natural, architectural and cinematic worlds. They convey a sense of not looking at nature, but being present in it; as in a grand city on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. 

Johnson has always had a keen interest in color, especially in Paul Klee's polyphonic approach; of simultaneous blocks of colors producing a kind of rhythm and harmony, a musicality of time, fluctuation, and sensation. It is Johnson's shapes and compositions, which set up rhythms and visual chords. His progressive forms have a kind of linear sense, but more importantly a wholeness, much like the beginning of a cool morning walk which ends in the mid day sun; the path and the perception are one. 

 Dion Johnson, Disguise, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 48 inches

Dion Johnson, Disguise, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 48 inches

This is a marked departure for Johnson's work as it is more pointedly a subjective declaration of experience and less a formal construct. His luminous depictions do not divide the natural and the synthetic but celebrate their marriage as a contemporary value. Using a spray gun to produce layered horizons, and Photoshop to produce drawings, he fuses the tradition of historic abstract painting with the exactness of digital film production. Johnson's paintings are flawlessly made by hand; each inch is pristine. The 1960s expressionism of Jules Olitski and Sam Francis edge paintings echo in these works but are antecedents of a Western trajectory and time. Johnson's works synthesize a global techno world sensibility with a quiet personal communion. 

Johnson is represented by Western Project, Los Angles, California; Holly Johnson Gallery, Dallas, Texas and Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona. He has shown at DeBuck Gallery and Bill Maynes Gallery, New York; Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, Ohio; Stephen Stux Gallery, NewYork;  CarlBergGalleryandRichardHellerGalleryinLosAngeles; James Kelly Contemporary in Santa Fe; Torrance Art Museum, and other galleries and museums across the US. He received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California and BFA from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

His work is in publiccollectionssuchasTheColumbusMuseumofArt, Columbus, Ohio; The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus,  Ohio; The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; Twitter, Santa Monica, California; The Capital Group Companies, Los Angeles, California; Creative Artists Agency, Century City, California; ProgressiveCorporation,  MayfieldVillage,  Ohio;  WellingtonManagement,  Boston,  Massachusetts; The Copelouzos Family Art Museum, Athens, Greece, and more.

 Dion Johnson, Sunrise, 2017, acrylic on paper, 16.25 x 20.75 inches

Dion Johnson, Sunrise, 2017, acrylic on paper, 16.25 x 20.75 inches

Dion Johnson: Optic Energy

November 19, 2016 - February 4, 2017
HOLLY JOHNSON GALLERY

WESTERN PROJECT @ JAUS

JAUS: 11858 La Grange Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90025
Through April 24, 2016
Featuring work from: Daniel Brice, Tim Forcum, Beverly Fishman, Dion Johnson, Joe Lloyd, John Schlue, Christian Tedeschi, Wayne White

Western Project @ JAUS - Group Show - Opening March 19, 2016

Western Project welcomes 2016 @ JAUS with new work from:

DANIEL BRICE / BEVERLY FISHMAN / TIM FORCUM / DION JOHNSON / JOE LLOYD
JOHN SCHLUE / CHRISTIAN TEDESCHI / WAYNE WHITE

March 19 - April 24, 2016
OPENING RECEPTION FOR THE ARTISTS: Saturday, March 19 4:00 - 8:00 PM
REGULAR EXHIBITION HOURS: THURSDAY - SATURDAY 12:00 - 4:00 PM

 11851 LA GRANGE AVE. LOS ANGELES, CA 90024

11851 LA GRANGE AVE. LOS ANGELES, CA 90024

 JOE LLOYD, Slant, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 56 x 96 inches

JOE LLOYD, Slant, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 56 x 96 inches

 BEVERLY FISHMAN, Untitled (depression), 2016, Urethane Paint on MDF, 38 x 2.5 inches

BEVERLY FISHMAN, Untitled (depression), 2016, Urethane Paint on MDF, 38 x 2.5 inches

OPENING RECEPTION FOR THE ARTISTS: SATURDAY, MARCH 19 4:00 - 8:00 PM

Regular exhibition hours: Thursday - Saturday 12:00 - 4:00 PM

 11851 LA GRANGE AVE. LOS ANGELES, CA 90024

11851 LA GRANGE AVE. LOS ANGELES, CA 90024

 JOHN SCHLUE, TYPHON, 2015, acrylic felt on canvas over panel, 102 x 102 inches

JOHN SCHLUE, TYPHON, 2015, acrylic felt on canvas over panel, 102 x 102 inches

 DION JOHNSON, Sonic Sky, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 inches

DION JOHNSON, Sonic Sky, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 inches

 WAYNE WHITE, Fuck That Shit, 2015, acrylic on offset lithograph, framed, 28 x 40 inches

WAYNE WHITE, Fuck That Shit, 2015, acrylic on offset lithograph, framed, 28 x 40 inches

DION JOHNSON: Chromatic Momentum - January 8 - February 14, 2015

De Buck Gallery / 545 W 23rd Street / New York, NY 10011See on De Buck Gallery Website

*DB_install-2
*DB_install-2

De Buck Gallery is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition by Los Angeles-based painter Dion Johnson, entitled Chromatic Momentum. The exhibition will be on view at the gallery from January 8 – February 14, 2015. An opening reception in the presence of the artist will be held on January 15 from 6-8 PM.

Dion Johnson does stuff with color that other artists don’t even dream of, much less deliver. The L.A. painter makes color fat, like the belly of the Buddha, at least as it appears in many sculptures of the half-naked sage, whose beaming smile and twinkling eyes suggest a kind of enlightenment that is whole-bodied, pleasurable and an end in itself. Johnson also keeps color taut, like a sail in a gale, stretched to its physical limits in gracefully bulging curves that are elegant, functional and forceful. There’s a sharpness to Johnson’s tangy slice of the spectrum, whose astringent kick gets echoed in the crisp edges of the snuggly abutted shapes his colors take. Their sizzling intensity is similarly keyed up by the lovely weirdness Johnson generates with their out-of-whack juxtapositions, which should be queasy, even garish, almost vulgar, but somehow come off as even more gorgeous for their oddball precision.

Despite the evocative heat that radiates from Johnson’s radically saturated paintings, there’s an implacable cool to their bands and swoops of color: a type of synthetic iciness that avoids the sting of nature’s coldness, the harshness of psychological withdrawal and the anaesthetized deadness of emotional detachment in favor of the ravishing extravagance of an unnaturally enhanced palette—a range of tints, tones and temperature that all seem to be on especially friendly terms with neon and plastic and all manner of artifice, the sexier the better. The razor-sharp lines pin-stripers apply to customized low-riders also lie behind Johnson’s compositions, in which the thinnest sliver of some strange tertiary expands gradually to become a kind of slender penmanship that then morphs into an aerodynamic shape with so much muscularity that it seems to be three dimensional:  an idiosyncratic building block locked together with others in ways that make them feel as if they’re adrift—freely flowing left and right, up and down, forth and back, as if they were not merely breathing but abuzz and ahum and apulse with a rhythm no less palpable for its silence.

- David Pagel

11 YEARS - Anniversary Group Show: December 6 - 23, 2014

11th year Anniversary Exhibition

Ron Athey / Josh Bolin / Daniel Brice / Thomas Burke / Carole Caroompas / Cole Case / Alec Egan / Samantha Fields / Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose / Tim Forcum / Eric Freeman / Sush Machida Gaikotsu / Margaret Griffith / Dion Johnson / Ali Kheradyar / Patrick Lee / Joe Lloyd / Zachari Logan / Bob Mizer / Matthew Penkala / Nancy Riegelman / Chad Robertson / Joe Schmelzer / Nicolas Shake / Aaron Sheppard / Arne Svenson / Christian Tedeschi / Tom of Finland / Mark Dean Veca / Wayne White / Jessica Wimbley


Western Project proudly presents our 11th Year Anniversary Exhibition marking a decade and a year of programming. As one of the pioneer galleries of the Culver City arts district, the show will include gallery artists and some special guests; each an irregular, unruly and often impolite force of nature, all burdened with the disease of individual thinking and a call to find a greater depth of human experience. We celebrate with abandon and humor, knowing our job is yet unfinished.

DION JOHNSON: Vivid Slipstream - June 15 - July 20, 2013

New Paintings and Works on PaperJune 15 – July 20, 2013 Opening reception for the artist Saturday June 15th 6 – 8pm


Western Project is proud to present the second solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist, Dion Johnson. Vivid Slipstream is a new body of work of dynamic opposites; of expansiveness and compression, darkness and light. In the tradition of Karl Benjamin and Lorser Feitelson, and their interest in the environment and landscape, Johnson uses color to evoke the contemporary urban, digital and natural landscape of Southern California. Influenced by the architecture of Eero Saarinen and geometric gestures of Ellsworth Kelly, Johnson skews the vocabulary of abstraction into a hybrid techno-language.

Johnson begins his images with drawings on his Mac Book Air and then creates each work by hand. His compositions use broad open shapes with convex/concave edges against multi-planed bands, evoking atmospheric spatial shifts. The diagonal structures possibly allude to car windows or an opening retina, each exposing a radiant vastness. More, the ten-foot long Propeller work suggests both a day and night window with its black and white panels. Johnson’s use of color is intuitive, historically much the same as John McLaughlin, though his Pop inspired vision comes from the commercial tangle of cities and billboards of Southern California. Johnson’s work is a clear balance of the harmonic and dissonant qualities of our environment; whether observing the curvature of freeway interchange or bright noon daylight, the paintings mirror the complexity of sensations lived on the edge of the Pacific Rim.

Johnson is represented by Western Project, Los Angles, De Buck Gallery, New York, and Marty Walker Gallery, Dallas, Texas. He has shown at the Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, Ohio, Stephen Stux Gallery, New York, Carl Berg Gallery and Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, James Kelly Contemporary in Santa Fe, Torrance Art Museum, and other galleries and museums across the US.

His work is in public collections such as The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, The Capital Group Companies, Los Angeles, California, Creative Artists Agency, Century City, California, Progressive Corporation, Mayfield Village, Ohio, Wellington Management, Boston, Massachusetts, and many more.


LA Art Diary:

DION JOHNSONTracey Harnish | Friday August 26, 2011 | click here for original post

Dion Johnson

BIG PICK

Dion Johnson's work is exuberant. A world where pop meets John McCracken in colors that dilate your eyes, these paintings scream happy. There's a sense of pouring but not dripping; it's a bold statement of form that turns into architecture that turns into landscape. It's John Lautner houses, it's Venice Beach, it's the Hollywood Bowl on a summer night. The paintings combine urban crowding with big spaces of open fields, much akin to life in Los Angeles.
- Tracey Harnish

click here for original post

Los Angeles Art Gallery Tours:

DION JOHNSON AT WESTERN PROJECTBill Kleiman | August 22, 2011 | click here for original post

Dion Johnson

Just down the block from Michael Maloney’s Gallery, whose summer show seemed about as summer-y as possible, comes another contender for the iconic show for summer in Los Angeles 2011. Widely exhibited LA artist, Dion Johnson‘s show at Western Project in Culver City, up now through September 3, really captures the summertime light of Los Angeles, as filtered through the lens of some of the city’s most iconic art and architecture.

Johnson’s paintings capture the vivid colors that some our most beautiful days deliver, with saturated hues and forms suggestive of the kaleidescope of colors and shapes that tickle Angelenos’ peripheral vision on that (all too infrequent) pleasant summer drive through our fair city. Curves and streaks also resemble taillights, fenders and pinstripes, all details of L.A.’s most widely fetishized objects.

Hard-edge abstraction, one of L.A.’s earliest truly local claims to fame in the world of contemporary art, (1959) weighs heavily here in these airy paintings. So, too, does the sense of optimism and open space that defined the Los Angeles’s famed contribution to mid-century modern architecture.

click here for original post

Dion Johnson: New Paintings

ARTWEEK  L.A.  August 1, 2011 Dion Johnson

Using bold planes of color, Johnson reaffirms the tradition of Southern California hard edge painting for this millennium. Aware of predecessors such as Karl Benjamin, and John McLaughlin, and their interest in landscape and the environment, the artist moves hard edge towards a more Pop language; flat planes of intense color merging and moving against another, shifting stratas of atmosphere and light echo the intersections of urban culture and nature. His influences are historic, from Matisse to Howard Hodgkin to Jeremy Blake’s videos....

artweekla.com