Artists



Untitled
Acrylic on canvas
2016
45 x 45 inches
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Johnny Abrahams makes exquisite, labor-intensive, abstract acrylic-on-canvas paintings, covered edge-to-edge with endless iterations of patterned lines. “Beginning each piece with a grid, I can either express that structure or divide it into smaller, increasingly intricate geometries to form a progressively finer language of elements,” he explains. “Put into high-contrast figure-ground relationships, these reduced elements become vibratory, and they destabilize the fixed gaze.” He often works in black-and-white, and with curving, zigzagging, or straight lines, creating the illusion of movement and depth on the flat, still surface of the picture plane to call attention to the process of perception. With a long career ahead, Abrahams plans to explore color, shapes, texture, and space in future series, and our mind-eye-body connection to these various visual elements.

Artist Statement

In my current work, I explore what can be done with line to the exclusion of all other design elements. Beginning each piece with a grid, I can either express that structure or divide it into smaller, increasingly intricate geometries to form a progressively finer language of elements. Put into high-contrast figure–ground relationships, these reduced elements become vibratory, and they destabilize the fixed gaze. Afterimages of color are generated as light is broken into its constituents by the interaction of the graphic relationships. My work is focused on making the viewer the subject, emphasizing the effects of his or her movement around it.