Contemporary Art Matters is pleased to announce our Holiday Pop-Up! This exhibition features work by Erika b Hess, Heather Jones, Robert Harms, Dion Johnson, Kurt Lightner, Laura Sanders, Billy Sullivan and Nikos Fyodor Rutkowski. Video tours and in-person scheduled tours are available. Please email [email protected] to schedule an appointment.
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 MFA from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA. He is represented by Western Project, Los Angeles, and Marty Walker Gallery in Dallas, Texas. Johnson’s work has been reviewed and featured in articles in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, ART News, Art Forum and others. His work is in public collections such as The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH, The Capital Group Companies, Los Angeles, CA, Creative Artists Agency, CA, Pizzuti Collection Columbus, OH, Progressive Corporation and many more.
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.
Ohio native Kurt Lightner currently lives and works in New York. He received his BA from Columbus College of Art and Design, and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY. Lightner’s paintings and sculptures have been included in exhibitions at PS1 MOMA, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Queens Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and are in numerous private and public collections. Lightner’s works have been critically reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, Freize, Beautiful Decay, Brooklyn Rail, New York Times, The New Yorker, Sculpture, and the Village Voice, among others.
Lightners ‘Fruitpickers’ paintings, Lightner combines elements of collage into his gestural painting style as he depicts people picking fruit. Drawing on the farm life he experienced growing up in Troy, Ohio, Lightner looks for inspiration in old photographs of farm labor from his family or collected over time. Here, the trees are bursting with fruit and practically devour the figures climbing to gather it. Rendered in acrylic on canvas, some with collage, the paintings are simultaneously carefully composed and disorienting. The plaid shirts and patterned dresses, perched on ladders are all we can make out of the figure, with an occasional arm reaching for fruit. Loose, opaque brushstrokes bespeaking movement are paired with bright translucent color, illuminating the fruit-like lights on a Christmas tree.
Heather Jones is an accomplished artist based in South-Western Ohio and she was recently an inaugural artist-in- residence at Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal. Jones studied art history at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning, earning both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts (ABT). Her work has been exhibited widely at national and international venues including the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH (solo); Art on Paper, New York, NY; Aqua Art Miami, Miami, FL; Marta Hewett Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; Iowa Quilt Museum, Winterset, IA; New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA; the University of California, Berkley, CA; Boecker Contemporary, Heidelberg, Germany; drj- dr. julius | ap, Berlin, Germany; Five Walls, Melbourne, Australia; and M17 Contemporary Art Center, Kiev, Ukraine. Her first book, Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday was released in October 2015 by STC Craft, an imprint of Abrams, New York.
Jones’ gorgeous sewn abstractions examine the boundaries between fine art painting and traditional quilting. Her geometric pieces push the formal possibilities of color and design while investigating conceptual issues involving the sociopolitical relationships between gender, culture, time and place. She simultaneously draws inspiration from the quilting traditions of her Euro-Appalachian ancestors and Color Field painters like Ellsworth Kelly.