Contemporary Art Matters is pleased to present Flying Colors, a group show curated by Dion Johnson featuring five painters from Southern California: Rema Ghuloum, Pamela Jorden, Heather Gwen Martin, Michael Reafsnyder, and Dion Johnson. ‘A Closer Look’ will be held on Thursday, April 29 from 5-7pm, and the show will be on view through June 11, 2021. For more information on the exhibition, related events and forthcoming catalog, please contact us at [email protected]com.
Southern California has a rich history of art movements from the second half of the 20th Century that distinguish it from New York and Europe. Beyond the warm climate, Modernist architecture, the motorcycle and surf life, and the early aerospace and entertainment industries that influence Southern California culture, there is a freedom to make something out of nothing, to pursue new ideas in art. Hard edge painting, geometric abstraction and California Minimalism are just a few of styles born there that continue to be interpreted by younger generations of artists. Perception and interest in light and space are concerns of this group of artists, along with notions of action and movement. While these ideas are investigated by artists around the world, the confluence of the unique environment, community and history set their art apart.
The show is full of small works, each a powerful little gem. Dion Johnson selected some of the most compelling abstract painters in Southern California that push painting forward and establish what California abstraction is today. The resulting show is simply gorgeous, one that demonstrates why LA is still one of the most important art centers.
Dion Johnson uses color to evoke the contemporary urban, digital and natural landscape of Southern California, and skews the vocabulary of abstraction into a hybrid techno-language. His work is a clear balance of the harmonic and dissonant qualities in our environment. David Pagel wrote in a catalog essay:
“These seemingly calm arrangements of gently curved shapes, in a sumptuously saturated and wildly unnatural palette, are anything but wallflowers. They play with scale like nobody’s business, filling the empty space around them with inclusive, user-friendly snippets of imagined symphonies… Time does not stand still in these paintings so much as they suspend you in long drawn-out moments of acutely satisfying attentiveness.”
Dion Johnson is based in Los Angeles, California. Born in 1975 in Bellaire, OH, he attended Yale Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art, received his BFA from The Ohio State University and his MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Johnson’s work has been reviewed and featured in articles in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Artnews, and Artforum among others. Selected solo exhibitions include “Color Chords,” Western Project, Los Angeles, CA; “Luminous Trajectories,” Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, AZ; “Chromatic Momentum,” De Buck Gallery, New York, NY; and “Optic Energy,” Holly Johnson Gallery, Dallas, TX. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Twitter Inc., Santa Monica, CA; Capital Group Companies, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA; Creative Artists Agency, Los Angeles, CA; and Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH.is gaining international attention with his photography that focuses on issues of identity, race and class in America and abroad. Jared has spent time teaching in South Africa and has made several series relating to the experience of living in Johannesburg and Cape Town.