We are thrilled to be working with artist Celia Johnson! Read below to learn more about her inspirations and working process. Examples of her work are on view now through October 17th, at FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery, 1064 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT
“As a child, I carefully collected stones, leaves and scraps into neat bundles of vivid similarities, and hoarded muslin bags bursting with glossy jewel-like marbles. But above all I lived and breathed for my Colorforms with the geometric Paul Rand logo, far preferring them to crayons.
I was already hooked on saturated color and pure geometry.
Color as form and pattern, juxtaposed elements and their relational situations, these were interests that I wanted to explore as an art student, but it was challenging finding the right path. I was drawn to both design and painting, but I became increasingly conflicted over pursuing painting due to my lack of interest in generating representational or narrative imagery such as figures, scenes or familiar objects. I could not reconcile this reluctance and struggled in my inexperience to search for a painting problem to explore, engage and resolve.
Developing a personal language of abstraction and putting it to work had to be grown into for me as an artist. I began to find my way only when I realized that the subject of my work can in fact be the work in progress itself: its evolving shapes, forms and colors accumulating to articulate a document of myself at a given moment in time. With this realization in mind I began to conquer my doubt and move forward by creating controlled, small, intimate work in wax, oils, gouache and saturated silkscreen inks.
I like to organize visual structure, and I start the exploration by utilizing both analog and digital collage. Here I explore form in both deconstruction and recombination, in redundancy and repeat, testing the balance and tension within figure-ground relationships. Through this method I gradually construct my distinct form-in-form compositions of formal and chromatic components. These are built into layered, structured fields of color, and as I proceed, one composition suggests another.
I enjoy persuading liquid paints, inks and hot glowing wax into counterintuitively distinct, bound, or embedded fields of pure saturated color.” – Celia Johnson