Jack Hanley Gallery opens a solo exhibition with New Zealand artist Jess Johnson

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Jack Hanley Gallery opens a solo exhibition with New Zealand artist Jess Johnson
Jess Johnson, MEMS, 2021. Fibre tipped markers, acrylic paint, and gouache on paper, 30 x 22.5 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- Jack Hanley Gallery is presenting Core Dump, the third solo exhibition with New Zealand artist Jess Johnson. The exhibition features a new series of drawings alongside an animated video made in collaboration with Simon Ward, and a quilt made in collaboration with her mother Cynthia Johnson.

Set in monumental architectures of ancient and futuristic times, Jess Johnson’s drawings are inhabited by genderless humanoids, worm-like creatures, and bat-faced hybrids. Patterns, symbols, mazes, grids, and distant vanishing points draw the eye into hallucinogenic spheres. Informed by a variety of pop- and subcultural influences like early video games, psychedelic horror, and science fiction.

The interrelation and juxtaposition of technology and flesh is visible not only in Johnson’s imagery, but in the process of the works’ creation and the mediums themselves, in which the point of departure is always the hand-made drawing. Developing from the analog, some drawings are transformed into digitally rendered animated videos, like the animation MEMS in this exhibition. In another case drawing elements are printed onto cloth, with the images worked into handcrafted quilts by Jess Johnson’s mother, Cynthia Johnson, embellished with geometric borders.

In addition to Jess Johnson’s solo exhibition, the third section of the gallery space features a group exhibition with drawings selected by Johnson, including artists Rea Burton, Motohiro Hayakawa, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Matt Lock, Gary Panter, and Lale Westvind.

Jess Johnson (born 1979 in Tauranga, New Zealand) lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand. Her work has been exhibited throughout Australia, New Zealand, and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, New Zealand; Nanzuka Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Heide Museum of Con- temporary Art, Melbourne, Australia; Tauranga Art Museum, Tauranga, New Zealand; Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia.

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