Romer Young Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with New York artist Johnny Abrahams, The Hare Beneath The Harrow. The exhibition will feature a series of new paintings that were made while the artist was in residence in the hamlet of Bolinas, CA a small and quiet surfing village in Northern California. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, September 7th, from 2 to 5pm.
Abrahams' paintings are oil-on canvas abstractions, characterized by large geometric forms painted on raw canvas in black, dark blue or red. Through repetition and subtle interactions between the void and painted form, the sharp compositions focus on structure, rhythm, gravity and negative space. Spreading the oil paint across the painting with a giant palette knife, slight and arbitrary ridges present upon Abrahams’ surfaces that at first appear to be smooth and flat. This process results in an accidental language of movement and depth within the clean, pure abstractions.
Progressing out of the optic, detailed line work found in his earlier paintings into a more formalist or minimal language, drama is expressed not through pattern but is instead conveyed in the subtle interactions of the seemingly massive forms and the very delicate points of contact between these brutal objects resting on the canvas. The shapes and compositions in these works arrive by way of magnifying tiny portions of an earlier line based painting. When the lines and their interactions are scaled up and augmented into a large-scale composition they begin to read as sculptural forms.
Abrahams work is an exploration into the vast ontological realm between line and architecture. His sizable yet balanced monochromes possess a remarkable quietude and are not "burdened with the non-essentials." The perfect edges and brushless application create visually harmonious and meditative paintings.