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Chris Johanson


Johanson’s works often feel home-made and human-scaled, drawn, painted, and crafted with an economy that is neither naive nor necessarily simple, though they may often appear so. There is an underlying emotional complexity that translates into the distinct spirit of his wavering brushstrokes and euphoric abstractions. Johanson’s roughly hewn and self-schooled figures communicate ideas that are at once deeply philosophical and quotidian.


Johanson’s visions transmit a distinctly Californian experience that includes a melange of shamans and charlatans, working stiffs and aimless drifters. Some of Johanson’s words and compositions feel like heirlooms from a long and ragtag coastal tradition of poets, artists, and musicians: Wallace Berman’s mystical photocopies and seminal Semina culture; the poem-paintings of Kenneth Patchen; the beaming peacenik posters of Sister Corita Kent; the blurring between art and life embodied by Allan Kaprow (the subject of a 2008 MOCA retrospective); all filtered through the dirty socks of punk and the wondrous messy freedom that tumbled out of that. In the work of Chris Johanson, the ordinary and the ecstatic coalesce with candor and grace.


From “Chris Johanson, Within the River of Time is my Mind, 06.30.13 – 10.13.13, MOCA Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles (US)”


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Chris Johanson

Dialogues #1 Baronian Xippas Brussels

8 June 2019 – 27 July 2019 08.06.2019 – 27.07.2019
Dialogues #1 Baronian Xippas Brussels, Xippas Paris, Paris (FR)

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Capture d’écran 2019-07-11 à 14.55.16

Chris Johanson

In The Hot Seat - Curated by Joey Yates

26 April 2019 – 11 August 2019 26.04.2019 – 11.08.2019
KMAC Museum, Louisville (US)

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Chris Johanson

Summer Show

28 June 2019 – 16 August 2019 28.06.2019 – 16.08.2019
Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen (DK)

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