Kelley Johnson

Region: South

Johnson is interested in the tension or energy that occurs in the merging of 2D and 3D space. He starts each work with a simple logic—stripes, patterns, zigzags, color fields—to get the painting moving. He lets these elements find an echo and or a beat. Symmetry, escapism, velocity, vibration, and free-form geometry are layered and sequenced. He uses these elements as tools for opening and closing pictorial areas by overlapping and combining forms to create optical spaces. Using these pictorial devices and color arrangements that reference color-field and action painting, minimalism, and abstract expressionism, Johnson picks and chooses references from architectural and furniture design, along with modernist ideas. He discovers visual fields with which viewers can physically interact, using their vantage point to complete the work. The relationship between one’s body and what one is seeing is an explorative dance: the viewer becomes the actor in or creator of the optical spatial performance. There is a active rapport that unfolds and hovers between the wall, floor, canvas, structure, and body.