blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


ADAPTATION SYNDROME  |  Painting in Contemporary Image Culture

Ron Johnson

 Interesting Logic , 2004
 Acrylic on panel, 48'' x 24''
 Visual Arts Center of Richmond
 Courtesy Reynolds Gallery, Richmond

Ron Johnson eschews image by eliding (and, therefore, obliquely engaging) many of painting's key issues. Unlike the other artists in Adaptation Syndrome, Johnson does not refer to external image sources. Acknowledging that making images is no longer the privileged domain of the artist, Johnson operates instead in what he calls the “spaces between.”

Although he painstakingly creates beautifully modulated pools of color, contained by curving ribbons of applied canvas, his interests ultimately move beyond these material elements to a more elusive realm: the ephemeral experience, changing with movement and light, which these elements are capable of producing for the viewer.