Clay Johnson’s series, Over the Line: New Paintings by Clay Johnson offers abstract, process-based meditations on memory and collections of moments in the psyche. He explains his work in a context that is “similar to what the brain does in constructing our concepts of the people and things that we remember”. While some elements are physically extant, remembered and preserved, others are covered up, or forgotten–it is this phenomenon that Johnson replicates in his paintings. Through the application of multiple, layered sections of paint to the canvas, Johnson’s works emerge as assemblages of the “accumulated moments of painting into a narrative that makes sense for them within the context” that they find themselves. Apart from their metaphysical attributes, the non-objective nature of his paintings also pay homage in mood to the wide-open Wyoming landscapes where Johnson lives and works.
Clay Johnson was born and raised in Durham, NC, where he studied art and art history at Duke University, receiving a B.A. degree in 1985. He then worked for several years as assistant to painter Robert Natkin in Connecticut and New York City. Johnson has consistently exhibited his work since 2000 on a national scale, participating in both group and solo exhibitions. His work is included in many private and public collections including, the University of Wyoming Art Museum, La Pinacothèque (Luxembourg),The Kimpton Corporation and the Allan Myers Company.