Can paper have magic in it? Can you infuse it with emotions you have?
Can I make paper laugh or worry if that is what I am doing when I share time
with it? Are me and the paper together in some way after collectively making a
space as the paint absorbs into the paper and through my skin and into
And do we make a spiritual space during and after? I very much hope so
because I alone do not make this work. It is done within time, space,
randomness and the elements that I participate with to make this
Peace be with You
– Chris Johanson
Galleri Nicolai Wallner is pleased to present a solo show of new works on paper by Chris Johanson. Titled ‘Infused Paper’, the exhibition explores the relationship between artist, practice, work, space and viewer.
Starting with his state of being during the creation of work, Johanson questions to what extent the feelings and thoughts he has while he produces it get transferred to it, and maybe even through it. Do they become part of it? Can we, the viewer, feel them as he feels them? Taking a step back from the perceived two-dimensional nature of flat works, Johanson conceives them as something more spatial, as something that exists and transforms the space that they are in. We feel the works emotionally, but we also feel them physically as they take on more tangible qualities.
Chris Johanson is known for a style of painting that depart from more academic approach, embracing instead the situations, emotions and people in his surroundings. Using painting as a tool to understand his own position within the world, this means of knowing is thus passed on to us, through the work, allowing us to put it in our own context. Exploring problems of alienation, the need to conform, self-delusions and other similar anxieties in an unflinching manner, this direct approach to these difficult subjects is juxtaposed by his more playful aesthetic.
Chris Johanson (b. 1968, San Jose) has become one of America’s most challenging painters, with recent solo presentations at LA MOCA Pacific Design Center (Los Angeles), and Malmö Konsthall (Malmö), as well as group presentations at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk), SFMOMA (San Francisco), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary (San Francisco), MCA Chicago (Chicago), and the Whitney Biennial (New York), Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul) and the Berlin Biennale (Berlin).
Galleri Nicolai Wallner (press release)