(L) Dion Johnson, Zipper, 2022, Acrylic on canvases, 48×40 in.
(R) Michael Reafsnyder, Slip-N-Slide, 2022, Acrylic-on linen, 26x22in.
Contemporary Art Matters is delighted to present ‘Two of Us: Dion Johnson and Michael Reafsnyder’, an exhibition of two abstract painters working in Southern California. Los Angeles is an art center with a rich history of all kinds of art but known for the strong presence of abstraction, from minimalism to hard-edged to rich expressionism. What makes a great art center is great artists living there, working together, supporting each other and pushing the conversation forward.
Making art is often a solitary endeavor and artists rely on inviting other trusted artists into their studios for discussion, sharing ideas and support. Dion and Michael have had this kind of friendship since the late ‘90s. We have asked them each to select work from the other and describe what keeps drawing them connected. The paintings in the exhibition, side by side, show how they each follow their own paths, yet you can almost hear the conversation around painting, thinking about painting, looking at painting and the making of a painting.
Going to an artist’s studio is a privilege. The artist is exposed in the sense that you see beyond the final product, into the making and thinking about art. Bringing these two artists together, having them talk about the work from their own artist’s perspective, is a peek into the studio and hear what they have to say. Below are the artists in their own words talking about the other’s work.