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Geoffrey Johnson Timeless Impressions


Geoffrey Johnson Timeless Impressions


Introduction by Lydia Furuta For two decades, Geoffrey Johnson has mesmerized viewers with his quietly introspective paintings

that capture the mood and character of the contemporary urban landscape. Using an impressionistic style, Johnson’s work lies in that seductive space between realism and abstraction. Much like Hopper before him, Johnson’s paintings evoke the isolation and loneliness of the big city. Typically set within a largely monochromatic landscape, consisting of browns, blacks and whites, his dark silhouetted igures elongate and extend into shadow. Buildings and architectural structures are rendered in limited detail. The restraint in color and mark making contributes to the mood of solitude and melancholy. As Johnson states, “the paintings are not about the buildings and speciic locations, but are about the feelings that one gets from being in the city.” Throughout his career Johnson has remained stylistically consistent, but has taken risks experimenting with bright colors one would not associate with a cityscape, such as In Yellow with Pink 14 and Red with Gray 10 with their vibrant hues of pink. In addition, he has attempted to reduce his compositions down to the most minimal of elements, as seen in Side by Side and Group Study 3, where just a number of diagonal lines are drawn to create dramatic depth and perspective. Most recently the artist has introduced metallic pigments – gold, copper and bronze – which add an iridescent sheen to the skyscrapers of his powerful canvases, as seen in Untitled Gold 3. While the artist regularly visits New York for inspiration, he resides in North Carolina. In the studio, Johnson tends to work on multiple canvases at once to keep his ideas innovative. He studies the seasons, time of day, and changes in the urban environment itself to create different moods for each piece. When creating a scene, Johnson is drawn towards high contrast, juxtaposing darks and lights. He states, “I am always thinking about how to arrange darks and lights to make the work more interesting… What I want to do is transfer the mood of the city onto the canvas but this is also something that just happens subconsciously.” It is also important to the artist to put down his initial ideas quickly. He states, “I approach each work in a very loose, quick way…getting the idea down quickly without thinking about it too much. I then go back and make changes. I enjoy spontaneity and try not to think about a painting too much or else it will get ruined. And, I’m always thinking of what to do next. Ultimately, each painting is a thousand different decisions, thoughts, and feelings.” In addition to his celebrated cityscapes, Johnson also creates works that are inluenced by scenes closer to home. His compelling paintings of horses are inspired by the equestrian culture of his native North Carolina. It is in large works, such as Horses with Gold & Black and Six Horses in Line, that we can enjoy the virtuosity and bravura of the artist’s spontaneous and gestural brushwork. The artist’s eclectic interiors, such as Interior Charleston 5 and Charles in the Studio, are inspired by the great homes of the south and portray an intimate view of domestic life. Regardless of subject matter, Johnson says that he strives to capture the places that inspire him while allowing his paintings to “almost dance on the water of abstraction.” The results are timeless scenes possessing both simple elegance and haunting solitude.


Buildings with Six People, 2014, Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches


Along Broadway, 2015, Oil on panel, 14 x 24 inches; City Study Gray 1, 2014, Oil on panel, 18 x 36 inches


Group Study 3, 2014, Oil on panel, 36 x 24 inches


City Portrait, 2014, Oil on panel, 36 x 36 inches


Untitled Gold 3, 2014, Oil on panel, 30 x 30 inches


Untitled Gold 5, 2014, Oil on panel, 30 x 40 inches


Untitled 5th, 2014, Oil on panel, 40 x 30 inches


Horse Study 16, 2015, Oil on panel, 16 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches; Study Horses 10, 2015, Oil on panel, 17 x 31 inches


Horses with Gold & Black, 2015, Oil on canvas, 56 x 56 inches


Six Horses in Line, 2015, Oil on canvas, 54 x 54 inches


Horse Study 15, 2015, Oil on panel, 13 x 23 1/2 inches; Horse Study 19, 2015, Oil on panel, 13 x 23 1/2 inches


Cold, 2014, Oil on panel, 36 x 21 inches


Study Seventh Avenue, 2015, Oil on panel, 27 x 18 inches


At the Met, 2015, Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches


Sidewalk Study Black & White, 2015, Oil on panel, 14 x 27 1/2 inches; High Cotton, 2014, Oil on panel, 24 x 36 inches


Study for Bryant Park 2, 2015, Oil on panel, 18 x 32 inches; City Park in Black & White, 2015, Oil on canvas, 24 x 48 inches


Thirty People, City Black & White, 2015, Oil on panel, 30 x 19 inches


42nd Street, 2015, Oil on panel, 40 x 30 inches


Train Stop, 2013, Oil on panel, 44 x 32 inches


Station Platform, 2015, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches


Inside New York, 2015, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches


Moonlight, 2015, Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches


Up Fifth Avenue, 2015, Oil on canvas, 52 x 50 inches


Side by Side, 2014, Oil on panel, 40 x 30 inches


Washington Square, 2015, Oil on panel, 24 x 48 inches; Game Field, Central Park, 2015, Oil on canvas, 24 x 48 inches


SoHo, 2014, Oil on panel, 36 x 21 inches


Chelsea, 2014, Oil on panel, 36 x 24 inches


Over Bryant Park, 2014, Oil on panel, 36 x 48 inches


City 2pm, 2013, Oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches


Village Street 8, 2015, Oil on panel, 36 x 24 inches


City Light 2, 2015, Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches


Red with Gray 10, 2014, Oil on panel, 40 x 30 inches


Untitled 70, 2014, Oil on canvas, 62 x 40 inches


Group Study 10, 2015, Oil on panel, 36 x 24 inches


In Yellow with Pink 14, 2014, Oil on panel, 44 x 32 inches


Interior Charleston 5, 2011, Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches


Charles in the Studio, 2014, Oil on panel, 32 x 24 inches


1046 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10075 (212) 628 2922 info@hubertgallery.com www.hubertgallery.com


Geoffrey Johnson: Timeless Impressions  
Geoffrey Johnson: Timeless Impressions  
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