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tidal by Megan Johnson

painting exhibition 3.12.2016 through 4.2.2016

haphazard is pleased to present tidal, a solo exhibition of new work by Megan Johnson. In this collection, she uses oil and watercolor on both canvas and stretched paper to capture impermanence as an immersive, perpetual state. Not limited to bodies of water, tides exist in all things natural and internal. They rise and fall, push and pull, erase and reshape. They manifest the currents through which time moves. The work that comprises tidal is a record of that movement, locating the vitality within upheaval.


Johnson builds layers of oil pigments and watercolors swimmingly, whose stains and washes seem random at first glance. Over time, as with pupils adjusting to a dark room, the patterns and colors take shape, conveying subtle collision, agility, disturbance and harmonies of shades and textures. These fluid surfaces of jade green and earth tones, which bleed past the edges of these large landscape-format panels, suggest at an infinite field beyond the paintings’ borders. The mind plunges deep into the ocean’s murky depths, into the expansive night sky, or into some other abyss, silent and vast.


The layering formations of paint call attention to the mode of creation itself, which at times disintegrate and expose fully the rawness and blankness of the canvas or paper material; this is a key attribute of Megan’s palette and universe—the in-between spaces between color and emptiness. Like wefts woven together to form a sprawling tapestry, each panel features colors organized around a kind of internal rhythm and an unfathomable inner space. Viewers are seemingly invited to see these works perhaps as reflections of their own private and collective pasts and to “take the plunge” into these fields and oceans of textures and color, and to let their own memories find meaning inside of them.


In the same way that the pieces in this collection are layered expressions of the physicality of creation itself, they propose that memory on top of memory can endure, obscure or interrelate to create something that is not only new, but in perpetual flux—the same way that our lives in retrospect are never defined by any singular thing, but in fact by a wealth of emotions and experiences, in changing proportions, all at once.


Megan Johnson received her Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University. She has shown work at Diego Rivera Gallery (San Francisco), Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (Los Angeles), WAV (Ventura) and 2 Harrison Avenue (San Francisco). She lives and works in Los Angeles.

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