The surfaces in my painting recall the appearance of the ocean: the viewer is placed above or among images that conform to swells and troughs.
I make dimensional oil paintings that render warped photograph fragments as curvilinear forms. The surfaces in my painting recall the appearance of the ocean: the viewer is placed above or among images that conform to swells and troughs. A desire to resist storytelling underlies my urge to imagine a churning, interlocking volume of activity. This year I am excited about the areas where I have removed paint with a palette knife: I am working back into these wet colors to suggest an undulating, multi-colored veneer, where recognizable image fragments seem continuous with or sunk into drapery-like folds. This technique helps me visualize my source images as layers in flux. My long-term practice of manipulating photo fragments, and of elevating paint handling procedures above narrative, is rejuvenated by making oil paint look ragged, diffuse, and borderless.
Elizabeth Johnson is an artist, writer and curator based in Easton, Pennsylvania. After receiving her B.A. in Fine Arts from Bard College, Johnson moved to San Francisco where she lived, worked and exhibited until 2010. Since returning to the northeast, she has exhibited her work widely in exhibitions across the region including at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia, Trestle Gallery in New York, and the Allentown Art Museum. She has curated exhibitions at Gross McCleaf Gallery, Soft Machine Gallery and Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Lafayette College in Easton and many others. Her writing has been featured in the Brooklyn Rail, Theartblog.com, Deliciousline.org, Figure/Ground.org and many others. Her work will be featured in a 2024 solo exhibition at Gross McCleaf Gallery.