Surface Connections: Technological Change Meets Artistic Practice at Hus Gallery
The works of Johnny Abrahams seek to demonstrate painting’s ability to assimilate and transform imagery made possible by digital image-making technologies into analogue objects of the material domain. By appropriating and re-contextualizing digital media forms, these works reference the ubiquitous digital formats that characterize the present day. Abrahams aims not to simply replicate digital media, but rather to apply the virtual operations found in digital image-making platforms to the material form of paint as a means of commentary on painting’s concurrence with the information age. Abrahams’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions including Das Angeles, The Hole, New York; Mediaforms, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco; x, y, zero, Jack Hanley, New York; and Interference Study, Vigo Gallery, London among others. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Oakland Museum of California; Galerie van der Mieden, Brussels; and the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, Ohio, among others. Born in Tacoma, Washington, Abrahams lives and works in New York.
–Courtesy of Headlands Center for the Arts
Image rights: Courtesy of Guerrero Gallery
Johnny Abrahams makes exquisite, labor-intensive, abstract acrylic-on-canvas paintings, covered edge-to-edge with endless iterations of patterned lines. “Beginning each piece with a grid, I can either express that structure or divide it into smaller, increasingly intricate geometries to form a progressively finer language of elements,” he explains. “Put into high-contrast figure-ground relationships, these reduced elements become vibratory, and they destabilize the fixed gaze.” He often works in black-and-white, and with curving, zigzagging, or straight lines, creating the illusion of movement and depth on the flat, still surface of the picture plane to call attention to the process of perception. With a long career ahead, Abrahams plans to explore color, shapes, texture, and space in future series, and our mind-eye-body connection to these various visual elements.
American, b. 1979, Tacoma, Washington, based in New York, New York