Art Up Close: Abstract Art by Erick Johnson

The interplay between color and form
August 23, 2021

Erick Johnson is a New York artist and wonderful colorist who uses color within strict geometry. The work is hard-edged, and in the past, he used rectangles and geometry. In his recent work, the geometry has gotten skewed and idiosyncratic. 


The way Erick puts these shapes together, one on top of the other, gives a real sense of compression and tension. Each one is against the picture plane, and you get the sense that they’re going to pop out of the canvas. Within each of the shapes, he uses plaid linearity that also creates more and more tension. They look like building blocks that are going to fall down any minute.