Andy Cahill & Gretta Johnson
15 January to 13 February 2016
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In this series of paintings, Andy Cahill invites the viewer into a vibrant world of textural space inhabited by peculiar characters of the artist’s devising. Cahill transforms backgrounds from old New Yorker cartoons and swaps the iconic caricatures with his own frothy personas, renovating the old cartoon and installing new tenants. Cahill crafts his lush paint surfaces by drawing his compositions on the back of stretched linen and then extruding paint through the lines, onto the front of the fabric. The culminating effect is a micro­-grid of acrylic paint dots, playfully intermingling with the architectural elements he depicts.

The work of Gretta Johnson wholeheartedly dives into notions of morphology and transformation. Johnson’s vivid work appears on the walls as irregularly shaped drawings, compelling the the viewer with contrasting pigment and heavy frenetic marking. The intriguing works take the form of perpetually folding fabric, continually creasing and wrinkling in on itself. These spontaneous cyclones swirl together ordinary objects such as work boots, winter coats, or a dreamy glimpse of a horse in the distance, offering an energetic portal for the viewer to get lost in.

This exhibition of Andy Cahill and Gretta Johnson’s work features a drawing room that showcases the drawing process in each artist’s work. The drawings serve as an elemental component in the creation of the other work, acting as blueprints from which the artists’ fantastical worlds spring forth, inviting the viewer into a momentary narrative concurrent with the presented works.

In addition, the two artists have chosen to collaborate on a few sculptural pieces. The theory that infants can recognize a simplified face (two dots for the eyes, one each for the nose and mouth) is the starting point for the amalgams. This idea is physically explored and extruded, and then morphed into a matrix of repurposed cardboard, wood, and metal. Forms fashioned out of hosiery stretched over collections of found objects are gessoed and incorporated into the sculptures. Sometimes kinetic, other times stationary; this work further examines our tangible reality versus one that is illustriously animated.