Back in 1990, the American artist Mitchell Johnson was just out of Parsons, where he’d found himself among many former students (Jane Freilicher, Paul Resika, Larry Rivers) of the revered Hans Hofmann. While working odd jobs for Frank Stella and Sol LeWitt, he began painting—abstract compositions, figurative landscapes. But later that year, when Johnson was offered a job in California, he went. The California light and land changed his painting, which became more expressionistic. An even bigger change occurred in 2005, when Johnson saw the work of Josef Albers at the Giorgio Morandi museum in Bologna. Asked in 2020 which artists inspired him the most, Johnson said Morandi and Albers, and then added, “If I could only choose one painting I might pick a small piece by Ambrogio Lorenzetti from Louvre Museum.” Color, geometry, history. The works in this exhibition span 30 years of Johnson’s career. —E.C.
Pamela Walsh Gallery 540 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA 94301 Get Directions »