Helen Johnson: Ends
235 Bowery, New York – US
13 September 2017 – 14 January 2018
Helen Johnson’s densely layered canvases incorporate historical imagery ranging from political cartoons, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century painting, architectural diagrams and maps, fragments of bodies, and handwritten text rendered with a variety of painterly gestures. Often double-sided and scaled to the human body, Johnson’s works are arranged in carefully composed installations, positioning the viewer at the intersection of a broad range of cultural and historical influences. Although driven by a deep and rigorous process of historical research, her paintings adopt a playful and even humorous take on historical memory and ingrained social conventions. “Helen Johnson: Ends” is the artist’s first exhibition in an American institution. For her presentation in the museum’s lobby gallery, she will produce a new series that extends her broader thematic concerns, while maintaining her experimental approach to the material and the communicative possibilities of painting as a critical medium.
“Helen Johnson: Ends” is curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator.
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Image: Helen Johnson, Bad debt, 2016, Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Pilar Corrias.