Almine Rech Brussels is pleased to present Other Earths, Aaron Johnson's first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Allegory, the grotesque, humor and esotericism animate the paintings of New York-based artist Aaron Johnson, whose new body of work oscillates between genre painting, portraiture and landscape painting. Other Earths consists of five large canvases and a set of small, brightly colored works populated by a host of imaginary characters and monstrous figures.
The luminous, fluid and heterogeneous nature of Johnson's oeuvre is owed above all to a singular creative process. He inherited this practice from Color Field stain painting, pioneered by Helen Frankenthaler and continued by Morris Louis, emblematic artists of American Abstract Expressionism. The artist first spreads his blank canvases out on the floor of his studio, paints a few motifs, and lets highly diluted liquid paint spill out in various shades; then, he lets the laws of chemistry and physics do their work. Thus begins Johnson’s work of improvisation, which centers on immediacy and letting go. His choices and gestures respond to the random movement of the diluted matter and its unpredictable accidents, prolonging them. He adapts the composition over successive mutations and gradations, with motifs and figures appearing and disappearing.
- Charles Barachon