Pittsburgh-born abstract painter, David Stephen Johnson’s love for the arts stretches back to the 1970s, when he shared a studio space in Chicago with a sculptor from the Chicago Art Institute. Since then, Johnson has been building his own body of work, inspired by the post-war abstract expressionists, and will be unveiling his latest series at the highly anticipated Spectrum Miami art fair to mark his inaugural appearance during Miami Art Week.
Johnson was invited to exhibit his work by Michael Joseph, founder of ARTBLEND, the acclaimed South Florida based organization and one of the longest running gallery exhibitors at Spectrum Miami. Johnson will be presenting his most recent large scale canvas works from his Blue Series and Sono Series as part of this year’s ARTBLEND collective at booth 720 within the Mana Wynwood Convention Center, from Dec. 4 to Dec. 8. This will mark Johnson’s debut and inaugural solo exhibit during Miami Art Week.
“I’m very excited to be making my debut during Miami Art Week at Spectrum Miami in collaboration with ARTBLEND — one of South Florida’s most established galleries,” said David. “Painting is like breathing to me. I am pulled in, to the work, every day. The process is a physical act. I connect to my body and to myself in a sort of visceral dance. The act of painting is unmediated by thought. It starts with a simple stroke or mark that leads to the next one in a continuous flow. Possibility and uncertainty are inherent to my practice. Always a play between anxiety, apprehension and, sometimes, when I get lucky, exhilaration. My language is color. I work with acrylic, house paint, oil, pastels, and graphite, which I apply directly on to the surface and rework with a scraper, paper, and rarely, a brush.”
David Stephen Johnson was awarded a scholarship to college as a star quarterback, playing for South Dakota State, and later earned his BA in Business Administration at the University of Minnesota, Carlton School of Business. He fostered his love for art while developing a series of paintings for his first show at Riverside Gallery in Chicago.
While raising his family, David continued a successful career in advertising in both Miami and New York for the prestigious agency Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein. He embraced his self-taught path in painting, building a deliberately unpublished body of work studying color and shape, partly influenced by post-war abstract expressionists. His natural athleticism and grace led him toward the great action painters, which informs his style and markmaking. In 2017 he retired from the business to pursue his passion for painting. He joined The Silvermine Art Center in Connecticut, a prestigious institute for the arts created in 1908 by the sculptor Solon Borglum. Since then, David has participated in several juried shows, expanding his work to large-scale canvases. He regularly collaborates with interior design firm Wowhaus, and other Greenwich area designers, for commission-based residential and commercial projects. In 2019, David had his first solo show at Southport Galleries in Connecticut.
Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami will take place Wednesday, Dec. 4 to Sunday, Dec. 8 at Mana Wynwood. Tickets for the Opening Night Preview are priced at $50 by purchasing online or $60 at the event. A General Admission 1-day Pass for Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami is $25 by purchasing online or $30 at the event. A 5-day Pass that includes the Opening Night Preview is $75 by purchasing online or $85 at the event. Tickets grant access to both Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami. For further information on the shows or to purchase tickets, please visit spectrum-miami.com and reddotmiami.com.
For further information on David Stephen Johnson, please visit www.davidstephenjohnson.com