9 grayscale paintings at the Beacon Art Center (Los Angeles) 2011

Nine grayscale paintings - Exhibition view


Oil on canvas

20x24 inches each

During the summer of 2011, I decided that I would again put into play the knowledge I had acquired about how a painting was constructed. One of the key motivating factors in my wanting to paint was how much I now knew about the history of the medium – not merely of what the pictures looked like, but literally how they were made with a variety of techniques used to build the first layers from light to dark or from dark to light, followed by dozens if not 30 or forty layers of glazing as in a painting by Corot. One of the issues for me as well was seeing how many artists in LA and New York were making one layer paintings that were not visually satisfying. It was clear to be that the technique of making a painting all at once and in one day was not working for all too many artists. And it was obvious to me that many of the paintings I was looking at were made without realizing that the majesty of painting is achieved primarily through the layering of paint, as paint itself is a film, no different from a film get being used to create a certain kind of light in a film. So what I set out to do was to create Abstract Paintings using the techniques of Representation and Realism. The Nine Grayscale paintings were exhibited during the late summer in Los Angeles at the Beacon Arts Center in 2011.

Vincent Johnson

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