Painting with oil on canvas is my primary activity.  Through drawing I generate compositional ideas using irregular polygons in a loose grid-like structure.  Within each polygon I paint successive, thin layers of color, which are dragged by hand to create rhythms and patterns.  I’m engaged by the question of how color and shape create relatedness and difference, as well as emotion and mood.
I like to push the dynamics of the work away from established patterns of geometric painting: my work is hard-edge but the edges bleed and stain; the polygons appear rational but are irregular and unique; the colors read clearly but on closer inspection are hybrid, impure mixtures of different pigments.  I use tape but my imprecise hand is evident.
In these ways and others, the work can be read fast and slow, with an open-endedness that invites the viewer to complete the work in their mind’s eye.  The work is informed by polygonal stone architecture, medieval stained-glass windows, Islamic and tantric art, as well as modernist and contemporary geometric art.
Erick Johnson
October 2021

"Parallelogram Paintings" Statement
Repetition and iteration. Through the use of a recurring device, a calligraphic parallelogram, I build a mesh of woven loops and bands, stretched and blurred horizontally, as if seen from a fast moving vehicle. The space is compressed, the color is urban, the process direct. The iterations imply change.

In this way, I investigate how relationships of rhythm, form and color can convey lived experience and emotion. I work in series but each work creates new problems. I seek balance, which is associated with harmony, but the process of approximating balance and harmony, (in my experience) is very unstable and unpredictable.

How do the rhythms, forms and colors interact? What effect do they have? I believe they can be powerful, but this can never be answered definitively. The painting can be the same but I am not. I re-work it to match these changes. In this way, there is an ebb and flow of process that argues for freedom yet grounds me in this world.

Erick Johnson