Have you ever felt anonymous? Perhaps walking the streets of a large city or standing among a crowd? Caught somewhere between abstraction and realism, geometric and organic forms, the paintings of this North Carolina native embrace the modern cosmopolitan.
 
Artist Geoffrey Johnson’s recent oils are the subjects of a thought-provoking solo exhibition at Principle Gallery’s Alexandria, Virginia, location. Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, and trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Johnson has developed a unique fascination with modern urbanism, the cosmopolitan, and the mood of the urban experience. The resulting canvases vacillate between abstraction and realism and are evidence of the artist’s role as an innovator.
 


Geoffrey Johnson, “Study Park Avenue,” oil on panel, 27 x 18 in. (c) Principle Gallery 2016

 
Johnson often employs a limited palette, sometimes only value tones, and silhouetted figures occupy spaces filled with powerful geometric forms of modern skyscrapers, buildings, and streets. The figures have little detail and no individuality, heightening the sense of their mystery and, more importantly, their anonymity. In some cases, the figures themselves appear to be just shapes with little character or life, themselves miniature architectural forms dwarfed by their surroundings.
 
Johnson’s blending of mysterious urban spaces also adds a somber tone to the works, but ultimately the pictures’ beauty brings a certain joy that triumphs over their melancholy theme. The exhibition of Johnson’s work opens at Principle Gallery on May 20.
 
To learn more, visit Principle Gallery.
 
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.
 

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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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