New Paintings 21 July – 9 August 2009 exhibtion at Tim Olsen Gallery, Paddington Sydney
Matthew Johnson‘s pigmented surfaces demonstrate a delight in the application and layering of paint. His studio is full of precious pigments that recall the work of Japanese nihonga- style painters who are trained in traditional methods of mixing rare pigments. Often made from natural materials such as shell, nihongo-style painters mix pigments that glisten with different textures Johnson uses the iridescent pigment iriodin which is made from sand to imbue the canvases with an effervescent glow.
In the series Ambrosial light, an intimate scale is enhanced by a tranquil palette. The fragility and delicacy of the fine grid is overlaid with pastel colours from sumptuous lilacs to misty blues. Like wafts of clouds, these smaller paintings seem hazy as colour is distilled into harmonious pools of light. Dissipating spheres suggest an experimental quality reinforced by the fact that Johnson sensitively observes shifting light sources throughout the day. The saturated and bleached light of Australian conditions imbues these works with a silken, atmospheric quality. Ultimately, Johnson inflects his abstraction with a reverie for texture and light. (via)Tim Olsen Gallery