Kelley Johnson’s work is process driven, built upon gradually by repeating lines and geometric shapes. This repetition gives way to a structural language, which then allows room for intuitive, meditative painting. Using the grid as an underlying structural guide, Kelley works to build layers of space held together by armatures, functioning like planes which interact with one another. Windows, planes, screens and veils all act as framing devices in a system of spatial observation. True to the core purpose of a grid – to separate fluid space into individual units, while also maintaining an operational whole – the framing devices in these paintings obstruct one from viewing a single plane in its entirety, while also functioning as the uniting element visually, physically, and conceptually.
Visual references range from hard edge painting, architectural structures, and stained glass windows, to tribal/religious patterns and textiles. Using loose interpretations of these patterns, the work evokes a collage of distilled information all vying for attention. These competing elements of form and reference imbue the paintings with tension; focal points shift back and forth from one “level” to another. This tension is experienced as vibrations between spaces, causing the paintings to pulsate, breath, expand, and contract. These subtle vibrations attune the viewer to conversations between two and three dimensional space, and visual and physical perception. Color, light and form both flatten and expand the experience of time and meaning. This optical interaction helps to establish how the space oscillates in the image, bringing its viewer in and out of consciousness through hypnotic and meditative experiences.
Experienced physically, optically, and emotionally, our understanding of space and time can be as layered and shifting as the forms within the paintings themselves. Our perception of “reality” is fragile – subject to manipulation by external forces. The constant redirection of focus in the paintings addresses the onslaught of distractions experienced in a digitally driven world. Our virtual reality creates new vantage points that compete for our attention, filling our daily lives with the same tension between real and fabricated as set forth by the paintings. In the end the work functions as a build up of guided structures that unfold visually, enacting a play between fiction and reality, tangible and intangible, past, present, and future. The viewer is at once lost in the patterns that filter in and out of our consciousness, and also completely attuned to these ever present vibrations between time and space.
Founded in 1977, Fredric Snitzer Gallery is running strong as a leader in the contemporary art market in Miami. Committed to presenting work across all media including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, and performance from a diverse range of contemporary artists, the gallery has maintained a rigorous exhibition schedule that features at least eight rotating exhibitions by its artists each year.
Fredric Snitzer was one of the early champions of contemporary Latin American art in the United States. The gallery is known in leading the way with Cuban artists exhibitions early on, noteworthy was the Cuban rafters exhibition “They would rather die” in the 80’s. Avant-garde Cuban artists in particular continue to have a strong presence in the gallery’s roster. The gallery has also launched international careers for emerging Miami artists, such as Hernan Bas. Important Miami based artists are significant to the gallery’s roster, as well as New York artists- Alice Aycock, Alan Sonfist, Los Angeles artists-Jon Pylypchuk, Alexander Kroll, Iva Gueorguieva, Kenny Scharf and Cuban based artists, Alexander Arrechea (former member of Los Carpinteros), and Cuba’s National Fine Arts Award winner Lazaro Saavedra.