Converge Gallery presents "Never Enough," Jeremiah Johnson's first solo exhibition in New York. Some 20 works on paper, mylar and a series of prints by Johnson skewer the artist's notions about love, relationships, sex and even heaven in an American society that he sees as rapidly coming undone.
Many of these works explore a contemporary dislocation between the contemporary drama of "dream and reality"- the notion that the world offers you both in different guises but gives you neither.
Johnson cites one of his biggest influences as Thomas Hirschorn, the Swiss artist who regularly packs rooms with detritus and thousands of pounds of cardboard, tape and old machinery. Johnson fills his two-dimensional spaces up to the edges, sometimes with painted areas rife with obsessional, details other times with handwritten text. The effect is both visually hot and intellectually challenging. Patterns and images mesh in a kind of surreal pop the artist has named "Maximalism." Precise brushwork and a combination of tracing and printmaking combine upon a single smooth surface; the results are cinematic and narrative, with abrupt changes in temperature and movement.
"My work touches upon a psychedelic aesthetic from the late 60's and early 70's, but what I'm really interested in is the dissemination of information in an overcharged and oversexed world," says Johnson. "In an other sense, my work is about survival."
The signature piece in the exhibition, "Tree of Life," references Johnson's take on the planet with a 21st century spin on good and evil. Here, lovers and football players, angels and goth teenagers rendezvous under an enormous tree. The connection is clearly biblical, but also social and the "tree" is a metaphor for the artist's attempt to unify the abstract concussions life doles out.
The artist, who was born in 1974 on a fruit and flower farm in Nippenose Valley, Pennsylvania, will also present his 'Dream Home Project' which is a series of miniature houses constructed from unopened credit card applications Johnson has collected over the years. The project was constructed during the housing crisis recently faced by many Americans. The homes are modeled after foreclosed homes in his neighborhood.
Johnson received his BFA from Tyler School of Art of Temple University and eventually went on to get his MFA in print, paper and book arts from Syracuse University. He currently teaches printmaking at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA.
Jeremiah Johnson's "Never Enough" will run from Thursday, February 7 through 14 at Kostabi World, 514 West 24th Street. An opening reception is planned for Thursday, February 7 from 6 - 9 pm.
About Converge Gallery
Converge Gallery exhibits contemporary artists from the United States, Europe and Japan. Based in historic downtown Williamsport, PA, Converge Gallery is located at 140 West Fourth Street. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday 11am - and Saturday 11am - 5pm.
For more information, please call: 570.435.7080, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
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