Johnny Abrahams

In the divinely human state of nobodiness

March 4 – April 3, 2021

Jack Hanley Gallery is excited to present In the divinely human state of nobodiness, the gallery’s third solo exhibition by London-based artist Johnny Abrahams. In a new series of abstract paintings, Abrahams continues to meld Minimalism with an Op-Art sensibility in a subtle, slow and meditative manner.


In bold colors of red, yellow, black and white, Johnny Abrahams combines oil and acrylic paint with void spaces of raw linen and burlap in a dramatic way. While the compositions of the small paintings are arranged in geometric blocks of one or two colors, the large paintings are monochromes of ample curved shapes. Symmetric or asymmetric, sometimes reminiscent of a theater curtain, the balance of paint and void spaces has a sweeping effect on the composition of each work.


Thickly applied with a palette knife, the oil paint forms ridges that effects an interplay between light and composition, bridging the realms of painting and sculpture. The ridges accentuate the path of the elegantly curved shape and define each painting’s rhythm. The viewer can trace the act of the painting’s process of creation, like bowing the strings of a cello. This rhythmic, almost melodic quality draws the eye deeper into the large monochromes, lets it wander and slows it down. The paintings’ simple, elegant and full shapes settle the gaze in a meditative way, letting it move in its own pace and realm.


Johnny Abrahams (b. 1979 in Tacoma, WA) lives and works in London. He has shown in the U.S and internationally, and most recently has had solo exhibitions at Vigo Gallery (London), Choi and lager (Seoul and Cologne), Romer and Young (San Francisco) and Sundays (Copenhagen). He has been included in several group exhibitions including shows at The Hole (New York) and The Oakland Museum of California.