Aaron Johnson’s paintings straddle the balance between unpredictability and control, abstraction and figuration, painterly blurs and minimalist hard-edges. Using a technique of staining the raw canvas, Johnson investigates the fluidity of shapes, forms and colors and the interconnectedness that manifests in between. Multitudes of creatures or figures emerge from the washes of pigment, staring elusively or at times in a soft embrace as different colors bleed from one figure to the next. Paying homage to color field painting and expressionist figuration, Johnson approaches his work as a deep visual experience underlined by a personal understanding of the unpredictability of his own subconscious. His work explores a wide range of human experiences as he depicts each eccentric form charged with a certain aura of darkness and light.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, in 1975, Aaron Johnson currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, USA. He holds an MFA from Hunter College, New York, 2005.
His work has been included in museum exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, Mass MoCA, The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, The Knoxville Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Katzen Center at American University; and is held in important private and public collections worldwide including MoMA New York, NY, USA. His work has been exhibited at galleries internationally, including Ross + Kramer Gallery, NY; Joshua Liner Gallery, NY; Stux Gallery, NY; Marlborough Gallery, NY; AishoNanzuka, Hong Kong; Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen; and Gallery Brandstrup, Oslo. He is the recipient of awards including The MacDowell Colony Fellowship, The Yaddo residency, and The Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program residency. Johnson’s work has been reviewed in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Village Voice, Art News, and ArtForum, and Vice.