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The exhibit "Mitchell Johnson: Sixteen Years in Truro, Selected Paintings 2005-2021" is on view at Truro Center For the Arts at Castle Hill, September 7-17, 2021. The reception is Thursday Sept 9, 4-6. Gallery hours are M-F, 9-5. A printed exhibit catalog is available here. Catalogs and posters are also available for in-person purchase at Castle Hill and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum gift shop. 

 

Contact

All of the paintings on this site are sold. To see a digital catalog of available work email:

mitchell.catalog@gmail.com

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Printed catalogs/books are available here at Amazon

 
PAINTINGS
 

About

Mitchell Johnson (b.1964) moved to California from New York City in 1990 to work for the artist, Sam Francis. In New York, Johnson studied at Parsons School of Design with former students of Hans Hofmann: Jane Freilicher, Leland Bell, Nell Blaine, Paul Resika, Larry Rivers and Robert De Niro, Sr. Johnson adopted their reverence for art history and their emphasis on drawing and painting from life as the source of a personal direction.

 

Johnson’s work draws on a vastness of experience and a persistent desire to make paintings that explain the world through color and shape. He has always moved seamlessly between abstraction and representation and the art historian Peter Selz described Johnson as an artist who makes “realist paintings that are basically abstract paintings and abstract paintings that are figurative.”

 

Beginning in the 1990s Johnson embarked on long painting expeditions to Italy, France and New Mexico with rolls of canvas packed in a golf bag like a modern day Corot. Wading through unfamiliar landscapes, often on foot, he worked to understand the ever complex geometry of land and sky. He prevailed not to capture some ideal sense of place, but to see better and to go deeper into painting.

 

Moments of revelation accumulated. A more personal direction became apparent in Johnson’s work in the 2000s as there was less reporting on what he was encountering and more emphasis on the mysteries of appearances. A watershed moment occurred in 2005 when Johnson stumbled on an Albers/Morandi exhibit. As Brenda Danilowitz from the Albers Foundation has commented:

 

“About halfway into Mitchell Johnson’s 2014 monograph, Color as Content, there’s a portfolio of Josef Albers and Giorgio Morandi paintings juxtaposed one to a page – looking at each other, so to speak. The images are not accompanied by words, but they speak eloquently of Johnson’s admiration of and debt to these two quiet yet lofty twentieth century masters. Albers shows his mastery of color, space, and form. Morandi answers with form, space and color. No words needed. In 2005 Johnson had come across an Albers exhibition in Morandi’s eponymous museum in Bologna and recognized that something remarkable occurred when these two unlikely comrades in art faced one another. The upshot resonates in Mitchell Johnson’s work of the past two decades: precisely and meticulously arranged color and form play off each other in

startling and lambent ways.”

 

In the 2000s Johnson began making regular trips to New England and Asia, in particular painting trips to Truro, Massachusetts. His paintings have been exhibited at various galleries in New York (Tatistcheff Gallery), Los Angeles (Terrence Rogers Fine Art), San Diego (Thomas Babeor Gallery), Richmond (Reynolds Gallery), Denver (Robischon Gallery), San Francisco (Hackett-Freedman and Campbell Thiebaud), Chatham (Munson Gallery), Provincetown and St. Helena (I Wolk Gallery) as well as numerous museums as referenced in his CV.

 

Johnson has been a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome, Borgo Finocchieto, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Castle Hill in Truro, MA. In addition to attending Parsons, Johnson studied painting and drawing at Staten Island Academy, Randolph-Macon College, The Washington Studio School, The Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts and The New York Studio School. His paintings are in the permanent collections of 29 museums and over 700 private collections. Johnson is the subject of three monographs: Mitchell Johnson (2004, Terrence Rogers Fine art), Doppio Binario (2007, Musei Senesi) and Color as Content (2014 Bakersfield Museum of Art). A fourth monograph, Where The Colors Are, will be published in November 2021. A new catalog for the Castle Hill exhibit is for sale at Amazon.com.

Johnson's paintings have appeared in numerous feature films, mostly Nancy Meyers projects, including The Holiday (2006), Crazy Stupid Love (2011), and It's Complicated (2009).