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
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.
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.
Commission for private collection, Los Angeles.
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
OPENING RECEPTION FOR THE ARTISTS: SATURDAY, MARCH 19 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Regular exhibition hours: Thursday - Saturday 12:00 - 4:00 PM
De Buck Gallery / 545 W 23rd Street / New York, NY 10011See on De Buck Gallery Website
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
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.
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.
January 14 - 25, 1013
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM www.cgu.edu/art
DION JOHNSONTracey Harnish | Friday August 26, 2011 | click here for original post
DION JOHNSON AT WESTERN PROJECTBill Kleiman | August 22, 2011 | click here for original post
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.
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....
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 30, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Western Project is proud to present new paintings by Los Angeles artist, 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. Los Angeles’ miasma of roadside billboards and architecture inspire his use of commercial color, blending the synthetic cityscape into abstract forms; our social artifice transformed in to an optical aesthetic. The paintings are composed on the computer and conversely drawn and made by hand. His flat radiant colors recall the 1960’s work of Lorser Feitelson and many of Johnson’s dynamic compositions bring to mind Morris Louis’ pour paintings from the same era. Most profoundly, Johnson’s use of color exemplifies the sensation of life in Southern California; an eternal summer, not as cliché, but as experience; a vivid clarity, a richness of life, a balance of sweet and sour, in complete abundance.
Johnson has shown at the Rebecca Ibel Gallery in Columbus, 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.
April 9 – May 15, 2010 / Opening reception : Friday April 9th 6-8pm
Jason Adkins / Kris Chatterson / Joshua Dildine David Hendren / Dion Johnson / Joyce Lightbody / Judy Pfaff / Brian Porray
Western Project is pleased to present a group exhibition of eight artists. While seemingly about the physical aspect of creating, Construction Zone is equally a cerebral place of invention. By definition of "construct":
1. To put together substances or parts, esp systematically, in order to make or build (a building, bridge, etc.); assemble.
2. To compose or frame mentally (an argument, sentence, etc.).
3. (Mathematics) Geometry to draw (a line, angle, or figure) so that certain requirements are satisfied.
4. Something formulated or built systematically.
5. A complex idea resulting from a synthesis of simpler ideas.
6. (Psychology) a model devised on the basis of observation, designed to relate what is observed to some theoretical framework.
Each artist is involved in a deliberate and thoughtful practice using ideas and materials to conceptually diverse ends. Be it oil paint, metal or music notations, each sensibility follows a prescribed methodology for building an idea. Nearly all included utilize computer technology to assemble or create their art works. Kris Chatterson scavenges his history of mark-making along with iPhone drawing to compose huge images transferred to canvases. Joyce Lightbody and Judy Pfaff use collage for uniquely different purposes: Lightbody devises phonetic musical scores and psychological landscapes; Pfaff marks out potential spatial terrains for installations. David Hendren creates objects relating to the body and sight, while Jason Adkins uses familiar forms to re-examine formal structures and utility. Brian Porray, Dion Johnson and Joshua Dildine all use painting to describe systems apparent and inconspicuous. Porray and Johnson define space with a kind of high pitched bluntness; born in the digital realm, using color and value shift to sculpt abstract fields. Dildine repeatedly builds and tears apart his images and to achieve a balance and light source in his furious compositions. All considered, the construction zone is a subjective space fleshed out through process, intention and materiality.