Project Description

Los Angeles-based Dion Johnson makes hard-edged, abstract paintings with dynamic color fields and lines.

In his works, bold, contrasting swathes droop down and slide across his canvases, existing simultaneously as line, shape, and color. Lines and forms butt up against, shift, and weave through one another, but preserve their sharply defined boundaries. A thin line between thick fields of color will abruptly become rounded off or bend across adjacent fields, creating a bustling sense of movement with a limited vocabulary.

Johnson turns these boisterous elements into carefully crafted and finely balanced compositions.

2000 Master of Fine Arts, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
1997 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
1996 Yale Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art, Norfolk, CT

2018 Feel the Sky, Ten Year Survey, Azusa Pacific University, Asuza, CA
2017 Color Chords, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA
2016 Optic Energy, Holly Johnson Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
2015 Chromatic Momentum, DeBuck Gallery, New York, NY
2015 Luminous Trajectories, Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
2013 Vivid Slipstream, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA
2012 Velocity, De Buck Gallery, New York, NY
2011 New Paintings, Western Project, Los Angeles, CA
2011 New Paintings, Marty Walker Gallery, Dallas, TX
2009 Brilliant Frequencies, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2009 Shadows and Vistas, Project 210, Pasadena, CA
2009 Twilight, Cypress College Fine Arts Gallery, Cypress, CA
2008 Isotope Series Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2007 Works on Paper, Empathy Design Company, South Pasadena, CA
2005 Radiance, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2005 Continuous Transmission, Desiree’ Synder Gallery, Sarasota, FL
2004 New Paintings: Project Room, Stephen Stux Gallery, New York, NY
2004 Wow and Flutter, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2002 Popsicle Scenarios, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2002 Softer Frequencies, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2001 Bill Maynes Gallery, New York, NY
2000 Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2000 MFA Exhibition, Claremont University, Claremont, CA
1998 Rebecca Ibel Gallery (Ibel Simeonov), Columbus, OH
1998 ROY G BIV, Columbus, OH
1997 Exposures Gallery, Columbus, OH

2018 Magic, Roberts Projects, Culver City, CA
2017 Claremont Graduate University Art Exhibition: Karl & Beverly Benjamin Fellowship in Art Recipients, East and Peggy Phelps Galleries, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
2017 LA Painting, Formalism to Street Art, curated by Andi Campognone, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO
2017 Abstraction in the Singular: Part I, curated by Dr. Grant Vetter, Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
2016 Manmade, Holly Johnson Gallery, Dallas, TX
2016 Western Project @ Jaus, Jaus, Los Angeles, CA
2016 Intent Fortuity, Jamie Brooks Fine Art Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA
2015 Surface to Edge, Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA
2014 NOWism, Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH
2014 Western Project: 11 Year Anniversary Show, Los Angeles, CA
2013 Tripod: Kyla Hansen & Dion Johnson, Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA
2012 Summer Selections, De Buck Gallery, New York, NY
2011 About Paint, Carl Berg Projects, West Hollywood, CA
2010 Set Theory, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA
2010 Construction Zone, Western Project, Los Angles, CA
2009 Western Project: The First Six Years, Western Project, Culver City, CA
2009 Drawings, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2009 Art for a Recession, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2008 Plush, curated by Martin Durazo, Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, CA
2007  Family Garden, curated by Shana Nys Dambrot and Elizabeth Paige Smith, Elizabeth Paige Smith Atelier,  Venice, CA
2007 Pixel, Harris Art Gallery, La Verne, CA
2006 Dion Johnson, Sush Machida Gaikotsu and Kelly McCormick, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2006 Beauty/ The Sublime/ Intensity,’ Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI
2004 Microclimate, The Harris Art Gallery, La Verne, CA
2004 Claremont Seven, Seven Degrees, Laguna Beach, CA
2004 Observations, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2004 Reordering Reality: Collecting Contemporary Art, The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
2003 Fresh: Works on Paper, A Fifth Anniversary, James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
2003 Ten Years in Columbus, Part 1, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2001 Summertime 2001, Part 2, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH
2001 Informants, The Harris Art Gallery, The University of La Verne: La Verne, CA
2001 Homage: Roland Reiss,’ Claremont Alumni Show, Center for the Arts, Claremont, CA
2001 Cross-pollination, curated by Susan Joyce, The Holland Tunnel, Brooklyn, NY
2000 Currencies, Patricia Correia Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2000 New American Talent, 15th Exhibition,’ curated by David Pagel, The Jones Center for Contemporary Art, Austin, TX and traveling through 2001 to Shore Art Gallery, Abilene, TX; Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council, Texarkana, TX; Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock, TX; Fire House Gallery, Del Rio, TX
2000 Refractions in the Plastic Pulse, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
1999 Emerging Artists in Ohio, Sandusky Cultural Center, Sandusky, OH
1998 Both, First Year Graduate Exhibition, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
1997 Ohio, Rebecca Ibel Gallery (Ibel Simeonov), Columbus, OH

2017 Pagel, David. ‘Abstract Painting in Los Angeles,’ Gallery Magazine, June 2017, p 18 ill
2017 Brewer, Gary. ‘Studio Visit: Dion Johnson, The Curvature of Light,’ Art and Cake, July, online
2017 Tonguette, Peter. ‘Elega, nt, spare design transforms text into art,’ The Columbus Dispatch, February 12, p. E5 ill
2016 Carasso, Roberta. ‘Continuing and Recommended Exhibition,’ Art Scene, February, online
2015 Vetter, Grant. ‘Dion Johnson at Bentley Gallery,’ The Arts Beacon, December, online
2015 Bridget, Gleason. ‘ Color in Motion: Dion Johnson’s Abstract Paintings of Light, Shape and Color,’ Artsy Editorial, January 8, online
2013 Nichols, Kimberly. ‘Colormetry Uses Color as Instigator,’ Droste Effect, February 25, p. 44 ill
2013 Frank, Peter. ‘Colormetry,’ Artillery, March 4, p. 112
2013 Bush, Bill. ‘The Opposites of Art,’ Huffington Post, June 10, online
2012 ‘The Radiant West Coast of Dion Johnson,”, November 15, online
2012 Esterow, Milton. ‘The ARTnews 200 Top Collectors’ ARTnews, Summer, p. 95
2011 Fitzpatrick, Kyle. ‘Dion Johnson Melts Color’ Los Angeles I’m Yours, December 20, online
2011 Lima, Benjamin. ‘Critic’s Pick’ Art Forum, October, online
2011 Daichendt, G. James. ‘Continuing and Recommended Exhibition’ Art Scene, September 1, online
2011 ‘Dion Johnson : New Paitnings’ Artweek.LA, August 1, online.
2009 Cohen, David. ‘Pic of the Fairs’ Artcritical, December 6, online
2008 Nys Dambrot, Shana. ‘Plush’ Flavorpill Los Angles, November 7, 2008
2005 Myers, Holly. ‘Around the Galleries’ Los Angeles Times, December 2, p. E30 ill
2004 Fryer-Kohles, Jeanne. ‘Painter crafts, mixed media into his personal diary,’ The Columbus Dispatch, January 25, p. D4
2004 Starker, Melissa. ‘Entering The Atmosphere,’ Alive, January 21, p. 21
2004 James, Elizabeth Ann. ‘Art Blossoms On The Wind: Celebrating Time and Talent-Past and Present,’ The Short North Gazette, p.12
2003 Fryer-Kohles, Jeanne. ‘Sextet’s Modern Pieces Sparkle,’ The Columbus Dispatch, April 6. p.F4
2002 Fryer-Kohles, Jeanne. ‘Childhood’s Mystery Seen in Sunny Visions,’ The Columbus Dispatch, March, p. G7
2001 Johnson, Ken. Bill Maynes exhibition review, The New York Times, October 19, E40
2001    Scheiber, Curtis. ‘Dion Johnson, Paintings That Dogs and Cats Can Understand’ Dialogue, January/February, p. 28 (cover shot)
2000 Pagel, David. catalog essay,  ‘Dion Johnson,’ November
1998 Hall, Jacqueline. ’Images Won’t Stand Still,’ The Columbus Dispatch,  December 6

Ameriprise Advisors, Columbus, OH
The Capital Group Companies, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
Creative Artist Agency, Los Angeles, CA
Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA
Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH
Progressive Corp., Mayfield Village, OH
Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP, Columbus, OH
Twitter, Inc., Santa Monica, CA
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Wellington Management, Boston, MA
Copelouzos Family Art Museum, Athens, Greece

Artsy: Dion Johnson Channels LA Life into Crisp, Vibrant Abstractions
Hard-edged lines and vibrant color fields traverse the canvases of Los Angeles painter Dion Johnson. Johnson is known for his ability to translate and condense everyday scenes into streaks of vibrant color. Luminous Trajectories at Bentley Gallery unveils Johnson’s new body of work. Paintings like City Girl evoke characteristics of infamous Southern California roadways, punctuated by colorful streams of sport scars weaving through traffic.  

Artsy: Color in Motion – Dion Johnson’s Abstract Paintings of Light, Shape, and Color
Art Critic David Pagel distinguishes the painting work of Dion Johnson through the use of simile. “The L.A. painter makes color fat, like the belly of the Buddha… Johnson also keeps color taut, like a sail in a gale, stretched to its physical limits in gracefully bulging curves that are elegant, functional and forceful.” His boldly saturated pieces are displayed in the suitably named Chromatic Momentum exhibition, on view at De Buck Gallery in New York through February 14, 2015. 

ArtForum: Dion Johnson at Marty Walker Gallery
Narrow, crisp, and vivid lines of color compress onto the canvas. Ambiguous forms hang down, while others stack in ways that resemble cross cuts of sedentary rock. Los Angeles based painter Dion Johnson’s work at Marty Walker Gallery gains traction through the vibrant use of parallelograms, ellipsis and elegant stylus forms.  

Droste Effect: Colorimetry Uses Color as Instigator
Non-pictorial imagery adorns the galleries of the Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in Colorimetry, an exhibition organized by Southern California curator and arts-professional Andi Campognone. Although artists utilize light and color differently, Colorimetry provides a space for artists to pay homage to light and color, inviting viewers to contemplate its elemental state.

Wall Street International: Dion Johnson, Chromatic Momentum
De Buck Gallery announces Chromatic Momentum, an exhibition by Los Angeles-based painter Dion Johnson. Dion Johnson delivers color in ways that other artists couldn’t dream of. Keeping his hard-edged colors taught like lifted sails, Johnson delivers compositions that are reflective of life in Southern California.

Huffington Post: The Opposites of Art
Dion Johnson unveils a new body of work in Vivid Slipstream (opening at Western Project on June 15, 2013). Expansiveness, compression, darkness and light all play parts in Johnson’s paintings as he interprets the urban and natural environments of Southern California.

Artweek LA: Dion Johnson New Paintings
Flat planes of color merge and shift in the works of Dion Johnson. Aware of forerunners like Karl Benjamin and John McLaughlin, Johnson shifts his color field principles to address  to characterize 

WideWalls: Dion Johnson
Born in Ohio 1975, Dion Johnson is a rising American painter with a BFA from Ohio State University and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University. His acrylic paintings explore contemporary notions of urban, digital and natural environments through the use of dynamic hard-edged color fields. 

Design Milk: Dion Johnson

LA Weekly: Hotel Art in LA, A User’s Guide
Trendy hotels are now making considerable efforts to collect the work of living contemporary artists. As the profile of hotel-art rises, places like lobbies and bars now serve as legitimate galleries. So far the news is mostly good. Culturally savvy travelers and residents of Los Angeles gain access to significant works of art. 

Art Critical: Dion Johnson at Pulse Miami

ArtSlant: Dion Johnson

Artillery: Colorimetry
Lancaster’s Museum of Art and History (MOAH) has devised a plan to counteract coherence issues faced by other small municipal museums.  Colorimetry is a raft of solo shows brought together by a common theme: the physical intensity of colors. While distinct variations occur from artist to artists, their styles and sensibilities are harmonious. 

AADAT: Melting Colour Dion Johnson

LA I’m Yours: Dion Johnson Melts Color

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