Aaron Johnson’s work presents a fluid approach to painting that harnesses unpredictable washes of color into raw canvas. His paintings vibrate with ethereal figures that dissolve into hazes of disembodied color, juicy luminosity, and radiant blurs. His spiritlike figures are in turn comical, grotesque, angelic, and ghostly. Romantic moments reveal embracing, starry-eyed lovers who melt into each other, combine energies, and fuse into a psychedelic nonduality. The dreamy landscapes seem to suggest life on another planet, or in another dimension, abundant with strange magic. Through his unique process, working on the floor with washes of flowing paint, Johnson’s technique allows figures to emerge, dissolve, and morph, as the artist orchestrates in a mode of improvisation. There is a balance struck in these works between a wild freedom and a tight precision. His technique pays reverence to the abstract expressionism of Color Field painting, in combination with an eccentric mode of figuration. The works call on a range of influences from Helen Frankenthaler and Rothko to the Hairy Who and James Ensor, while exploring a curiosity for astrophysics and mysticism. These are intuitive paintings that harness the alchemy of paint as a metaphysical potion for an enigmatic visual experience.
A press release by Charles Barachon, writer and art critic, will follow.
Press release courtesy Almine Rech.