Recent Work

A selection of new paintings and works on paper

Lascaux, 2022, acrylic on aluminum panel, 48" x 48" by Clay Johnson

Lascaux, 2022, acrylic on aluminum panel, 48″ x 48″

Greek Painting #2, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 32" x 32" by Clay Johnson
Greek Painting #2, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 32″ x 32″

My work explores issues of time and the ways in which past events inform our experience of the present moment. I find the medium of painting to be uniquely adept at collapsing and suspending time—constructing a single, timeless moment from events that transpired over days, months, or years. In my work, the visible history of each painting’s making provides the subject of its narrative.

The paintings are comprised of many layers of paint applied in overlapping sections—covering parts of the existing layers, while leaving other areas exposed. The paint is applied with varying degrees of transparency such that even the regions that are painted over still show through in places. In many cases, selected areas are sanded to bring forth underlying colors and textures.

Untitled (#709), 2022, acrylic on paper, 22" x 30" by Clay Johnson

Untitled (#709), 2022, acrylic on paper, 22″ x 30″

Untitled (#705), 2021, acrylic on paper, 20" x 16" by Clay Johnson

Untitled (#705), 2021, 20″ x 16″
acrylic on paper

Untitled (#706), 2021, acrylic on paper, 20" x 16" by Clay Johnson

Untitled (#706), 2021, 20″ x 16″
acrylic on paper

Untitled (#707), 2021, acrylic on paper, 20" x 16" by Clay Johnson

Untitled (#707), 2021, 20″ x 16″
acrylic on paper

I work on an array of supports/surfaces and at a range of sizes—from small works on paper, like those above, to large paintings on canvas or aluminum panels. Each combination of material and scale demands a slightly different approach or treatment. Making a large painting is a much more physical exercise than working on a small sheet of paper, and that’s reflected in the end result.

Inversion, 2022, acrylic on aluminum panel, 36" x 48" by Clay Johnson

Inversion, 2022, acrylic on aluminum panel, 36″ x 48″

The Royal, 2022, acrylic on aluminum panel, 36" x 48" by Clay Johnson

The Royal, 2022, acrylic on aluminum panel, 36″ x 48″

In the latter part of 2019, I began to paint with a bit more expressiveness and aggression, pushing the boundaries of the geometric compositional structure that I have been working within since 2015. The result is a greater tension between these horizontal sections and the organic, improvisational manner in which the paint is applied. I believe the further exploration of that interplay will provide the roadmap for the future development of this series.

Now and Again, 2022, acrylic on linen, 48" x 60" by Clay Johnson

Now and Again, 2022, acrylic on linen, 48″ x 60″

Installation view of Twice Removed, 2021, acrylic on aluminum panel, 36" x 48" by Clay Johnson

Painting Installation Views

A new visualization tool for available works

Now you can see installation mock-ups for all works that are currently available from the studio. Simply click the “View Installation Photo” link on the page of any available painting or work on paper to get a better sense of how it will look when hanging on a wall.