LONDON.- Camden Arts Centre
presents an exhibition of new work by British artist Paul Johnson. For this ambitious installation, Johnson dismantled his entire studio and reconstruct fragments in Gallery 3.
For Teardrop Centre, Johnson breaks down every aspect of his studio: from architectural and structural elements such as the flooring and his studio door, to the more humble and even mundane, such as discarded coffee cup lids and receipts. Johnson is interested in the potential for any of these things to transform into art works. In this exhibition, Johnson takes works that have been meticulously crafted over long periods of time and juxtaposes them with newly cast sculptures of found objects and remnants from his daily activities, questioning the value of labour and considering the potential of materials.
Johnsons work is anchored by an enquiry into the way objects and images can transition historically, mentally and physically when filtered through the hand of the artist. Across his practice Johnson gathers found materials and creates small, labour-intensive sculptures, collages and large-scale installations that stimulate imaginary associations for the viewer to decode. Many of Johnsons works have a diaristic quality; in Wallet (5 Years), 2010-15, years of collected material from his travels form a sculpture moulded inside the artists pocket, blurring the line between his everyday life and studio practice.
For Johnson, the contemporary studio evokes a sense of uncertainty and anxiety. Taking apart every aspect of his studio suggests a destructive impulse or a cathartic process: taking stock and clearing everything out. Through the process of disassembling and recasting his entire studio, Johnson posits the studio as a conceptual space, as well as physical.
Teardrop Centre sees the artist return to Camden Arts Centre almost a decade after undertaking a residency in 2007, a period which he describes as a pivotal moment in his practice.
As part of the exhibition, Johnson will take part in a series of public programme events. Highlights include a discussion alongside fellow artist Katie Schwab and writer Emily LaBarge considering the mental and physical environment of the artists studio, as well as a talk on our relationship with non-human things with philosopher Timothy Morton.
Paul Johnson (b.1972) lives and works in London. Johnson has exhibited at Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2015), Usher Gallery, The Collection Museum, Lincoln (2013-2014), The Nunnery (2011-12), Saatchi Gallery, London (2010), CAPC, Bordeaux (2010), Frieze Art Fair, London (2011), Armory Art Fair, New York (2010), Ancient & Modern, London (2009) and Mizuma Gallery, Tokyo (2008).