New York

Chris Johanson

Deitch Projects

Comprising paintings and one large installation, Chris Johanson’s second solo exhibition at this gallery was equal parts cryptic and clear-cut, lighthearted and sarcastic, comic and tragic. Most of the artist’s new works employ a Crayola palette and are composed of wood he gathered from Brooklyn Dumpsters and discarded art-shipping crates. While recycling and revitalization were evidenced throughout the show, Johanson did not apply such strategies to his own output. Indeed, the elements that one might most readily associate with the artist’s earlier work (cartoon thought bubbles, copious handwritten text, crudely rendered figures languishing in urban and suburban environments) were almost completely missing. In their place, the new series of abstract paintings offers ecological visions of the past, present, and future, Johanson now directly confronting themes he has only flirted with

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