Playful yet methodical, Ron Johnson’s process-driven work is defined by chance.
Pouring pigmented polyurethane over wood panels, he investigates the effects of
layering transparent color. In a recent Art Pulse interview, he states “The medium
allows me to control (for the most part) this idea of translucency which in turn allows
the viewer to access my work in layers…to see the archeology, or experience my
thoughts in an archeology of seeing.” This theme of archeology stems from Johnson’s
annual cross-country drives. Travelling the Kansas plains to wind down into the
Grand Canyon and up the coast of California, he photographs landscape after
landscape, capturing variations in light, color, and line. Back in the studio, these
scenes directly influence compositional decisions as organic shapes take the form
of mirage-like paintings. Applying and removing strips of canvas between each
layer of poured paint, he exaggerates these edges as images of mountain peaks,
layers of sediment, or eroding banks emerge.
Johnson grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts
from Ohio State University (1999). Later, he earned his Master of Fine Arts in Painting
and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University (2003), where he currently
works as an assistant professor in the Painting and Printmaking Department. His
work has been exhibited at Washington & Lee University, VCUarts Anderson Gallery,
the Columbus Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery, and the Cite des Arts Gallery in
Paris. His work is in numerous public and private collections including Altria Group,
Capital One, and Markel Corporation.