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Chris Johanson


Chris Johanson's 2021 exhibition Considering Unknow Know With What Is, And will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue dedicated exclusively to Johanson’s recent explorations on recycled canvas. Designed by Perron-Roettinger, the publication features new essays by both the artist and Jenny Gheith, Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).  

In her essay for the catalogue, “Harmonic Meditations: Chris Johanson’s Form of Deep Listening,” Gheith writes:   

“Johanson uses words like ‘therapeutic’ when describing the process of making his recent ‘peaceful paintings.’ Foregrounding the work’s healing effects, Johanson paints in a way that is ‘slow and deliberate, and because of that creates a calm meditative headspace.’ He has been working in this manner in order to ‘slow down my thoughts, to reduce the noise of my life.’ Just as in his continual search for personal and creative growth, Johanson has used his tinnitus—the persistent illusion of sound in his ears—to reimagine his sonic environment and relationship to listening, so have the sonic elements in his artworks and installations quieted and slowed down. Not only have they shifted in tone and register, but some have nearly disappeared. For example, Johanson’s recent compositions rarely speak to us through speech bubbles and text; rather, his paintings emphasize a more formal visual language grounded in an energetic flow. These rhythmic hums manifest as swirling shapes based on the curvature of his hand as it shifts against the surface. Johanson’s vivid palette has transformed into more muted tones and organic forms that are less saturated and at times seem to fade into or look worn against the cotton surface.”