In St. Louis, Duane Reed Gallery proudly presents the work of Ron Johnson and Griff Williams; painters whose works both transcend and defy expectations through the use of resinous fluid as opposed to traditional acrylic or oil pigments. The application of resins and enamels of varying viscosities create enticing surface qualities that put pre-conceived ideas of painting on their head. Both artists use pre planned mapping to determine where the various sections of color will be placed. In Johnson’s work, lines are laid down to act as dams for the polyurethane to settle in to their intended shape, and then sanded down to create the desired visual effect. William’s pieces require highly technical pigment mixing with transparent resin, and then poured into place on stenciled enamel in an elaborately reinvented paint by numbers process.
Ron Johnson’s work explores abstracted landscapes through a process of layering that is both soft and semi-transparent, giving the viewer a topographical perspective of exuberant colors and strategically placed line. “The medium allows me to control this idea of translucency which in turn allows the viewer to access my work in layers. So viewers are literally able to see the archaeology, or experience my thoughts, in an archaeology of seeing.”
Griff William’s paintings are created through a process of layering poured resin and enamel in a process very similar to paint-by-numbers. “The shapes are used in intersecting layers to compose an image, which camouflages the boundaries between things. I’m intrigued by the impermanence of form. The paintings present an extravagant visionary experience – a blend of the material and the optical. This calculated technique speaks of setting aside the romanticism of the past.”