Collin Johanson: Out for Breath
May 27–June 24, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 27, noon–5pm
For information about available work, email@example.com.
Monte Clark is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Collin Johanson. Working with imagined forms, abstraction, mechanical perspective and photo reference, this series of works embraces contradictory subject matter and formal principals.
Johanson’s work encompasses a distinctive exploration of destabilization and disorientation, with the intention of pushing the boundaries of visual perception. Through his paintings, he presents a blend of fragmented imagery within an abstract space, where forms simultaneously emerge and dissolve, resulting in an enigmatic and thought-provoking experience.
Influenced by the techniques of automatism famously employed by Surrealists and abstract expressionists, Johanson deliberately relinquishes conscious control in order to allow possibilities to converge through chance. By embracing the creative process, he willingly embraces the unknown and embarks on a journey of discovery, where paths only unveil themselves organically, through happenstance.
Johanson articulates his approach, explaining, “Engaging with abstraction, for me, means embracing imagery that is unfamiliar—pursuing paths that only reveal themselves during the process and by chance. It is through these interactions of chance discovery and surprise that an intuitive aspect is inherently woven into my work.”
Collin Johanson is based in Treaty 6 Territory ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Amiskwacîwâskahikan), Edmonton AB. He received his BFA from Emily Carr University (2004) and his MFA from Concordia University (2013). Johanson’s paintings often exist in a state between figuration and abstraction, where forms never fully become fixed. Instability keeps these images in flux, resisting easy interpretation. Johanson won the Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award in 2014, and was an RBC Painting Competition finalist in 2008. His work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the National Gallery of Canada (ON), the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (ON), the Contemporary Art Gallery (BC), Regart (QC), Access Gallery (BC), and the Surrey Art Gallery (BC).
"Surprising dips and quiet culminations of narrativity are where the nervy, fragmented, projective energy that Johanson has been developing for decades has found a new pathway. Since his days of collaborative art-making with the Vancouver- based group the Lions decades ago, Johansons’ work has maintained a strong punk ethos. This new body of work generates momentum by pitting the norms of culture against the anarchy of nature."
→ Read essay by Ryan Sluggett
Installation view, Collin Johanson: Out for Breath, Monte Clark, Vancouver, 2023