Ochi Projects is pleased to present Kings Canyon, a solo exhibition featuring new paintings by Los Angeles based artist Elisa Johns. The exhibition opens in our downstairs gallery Thursday, March 9th with an opening reception from 6-9pm, and remains on view through Sunday, April 9th.
Johns’ work draws inspiration from the beauty and severity of the Western landscape. Her most recent paintings focus on Kings Canyon in the Sierra Nevada mountains where she spends her summers backpacking. Johns sees a connection between the immediacy of experiencing a painting, and the immediacy of experiencing the wildness of nature through the solitude and physicality of being in it, and she seeks to interpret such experience more than to reproduce exact imagery. Her work navigates spaces of white canvas through passages of thick paint. The openness of the white spaces suggests a vastness and allows the viewer to fill in the space. She picks out areas of the landscape to highlight, sometimes focusing on an immediate object, and other times seeking to describe a panorama.
The scale of works in Kings Canyon references the physicality and monumentality of the places she depicts, perhaps inciting a memory of the sense of moving one’s body through nature. Johns also recognizes the masculine associations of the Western landscape and seeks to elicit what might be considered a more feminine sentiment. Despite their size, the white expanses in Johns’ paintings and the palate of her paints provide a sense of delicacy. A balance of restraint and abandon her process confounds horizon, perspective, gesture and color with the intent to evoke a sense of possibility.
Elisa Johns is a Los Angeles based painter who received her MFA from the Claremont Graduate University, and her BA from the University of California, San Diego. Johns has exhibited across the United States, and in Europe. Her most recent solo shows include “Wildflowers” at Walker Contemporary in Vermont, “Palisades” at Kasia Kay Gallery in Chicago, and “Huntress” at Mike Weiss Gallery in New York.
Ochi Projects is pleased to present Manifestos by Nancy Baker Cahill. The exhibition opens in our upstairs gallery Thursday, March 9th, with an opening reception from 6-9pm and remains on view through Sunday, April 9th.
Baker Cahill’s Manifestos consists of a series of 12″ x 9″ drawings installed in a single, horizontal, cinescopic sequence. Each is intended as a “freeze-frame,” an energetic moment articulated in a split second. The reference to video is conscious; Baker Cahill is currently working with Virtual Reality technology to amplify and further animate the empathic effect of her drawings in 360 degrees.
Baker Cahill’s work interprets the human body as a complicated abstraction engaged in a perpetual struggle: corporeally real, yet unknowable. Nothing appears whole as she mines the tension between extremes of mass and void, stasis and motion, erotic and asexual forms. Her intention is for viewers to experience self-reflection as they consider their bodies and the bodies of others as engaged in an ongoing, unsettled contest— filled with vulnerability, strength, discomfort, and defiance. She aims to dissect notions of power moving over and through the body, while embracing their intrinsic mutability.
Baker Cahill recently had a solo exhibition of large scale works, Interruptions, at Moorpark College’s Art Gallery in Moorpark, CA and was the subject of art critic and historian Gracie Linden’s essay, “Surds and Manifestos: The Drawings of Nancy Baker Cahill, Peripheral Vision Arts, October 10, 2016.
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