Dion Johnson is a Los Angeles-based painter whose brilliantly colored canvases overflow with the colors of nostalgia—vividly colored candies and popsicles, billboards and surfboards from retro L.A.-- all things that brought him pleasure growing up. Harking back to the hard-edge color field painters of the 1950s, like John McLaughlin, Johnson repeats half-lozenge shapes and outlines, mixing up the orientation—literally shifting the ground beneath, creating varying effects from gravity-consciousness to dizzyness from perceived speed.
After referencing the 2007 “Birth of Cool” retrospective of the L.A. hard-edge scene, Ben Lima in Artforum observes, “Johnson’s work has a hectic, frenetic quality; it is in fact much more animated than cool. This sense of motion and energy leads me to think that for Johnson the time-based animations by Jeremy Blake, for instance, count as much toward the history of painting as any canvas does.” Lima concludes that, “Johnson’s paintings have a hybrid genealogy that invites novel connections.”
Dion Johnson received his BA from the Ohio State University and his MFA from Claremont University. Johnson has exhibited nationally in museums and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, and Columbus, Ohio.
ARTFORUM, Lima, Benjamin, “Critic's Pick: Dion Johnson,” October 2011
ModernDallas, Camplin, Todd, “Dion Johnson at Marty Walker Gallery through November 12,” October 2011
Los Angeles Art Gallery Tour, "Dion Johnson at Western Project," August 2011
Artweek.LA,, "Dion Johnson," vol. 37,August 2011