Celia Johnson

I have a modernist interest in the play of color and form, which manifests itself in a non-referential geometric abstraction. This passion was ignited in my childhood with my love of Colorforms, those glossy pieces of vinyl that hooked me on saturated color and pure geometry.

 

Structuring figure/ground relationships and exploring the push-pull of shapes in the space within the edges of the rectangle is my play and my work. Saturated flat color fields are layered and shuffled in degrees of reveal to float above or recede beneath the picture plane. As in the turning of a puzzle piece or the shifting, shuffled surface of collage, 
I enjoy putting things together.

 

While the work is formally intuitive, it is calculated in its design and plotting, playing juxtaposed elements and relational situations against one another in the layering and building of the planar surfaces. This is the continuation of that utopian fascination with color-as-form that I developed as a child.

 

Many influences have been at work in my work, although no single reference is immediate. I am directly influenced by nothing, yet I feed on everything: 
Renaissance ornament; medieval heraldry and blazon; Kandinsky’s abstractions; the kinetic flat space of the Russian avant-garde; Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s explorations; 
Sol LeWitt’s systems; Ellsworth Kelly’s accurate purity; Agnes Martin’s dedication to the transcendent power of beauty  - and always color.