Using grid-like patterns that snake and spiral into organic shapes, Peter Kogler creates installations that make viewers feel like they just entered the matrix. Sometimes painted directly on the walls and sometimes in the form of projections, Kogler’s futuristic aesthetic transforms spaces into illusory environments with a disorienting effect. The artist has created his installations on the walls of galleries and museums all over Europe. In the photos documenting his pieces below, viewers become subsumed in patterns as they navigate Kogler’s altered spaces.
Aaron Johnson isn’t afraid of the profane — in fact, he almost always goes there. The Brooklyn-based artist has a solo show at Stux and Haller Gallery in New York titled “Pisockophilia.” The show features his reverse painted acrylic polymer peel paintings as well as his sock paintings, which are, in essence, hand-painted assemblages made of the discarded footwear. Johnson’s work is maniacal and frenzied. It throws propriety out the door and its characters, with their gnawing teeth and hungry eyes, act on a wide variety of carnal desires. Johnson’s humor is almost slapstick and his paintings are tactile and action-packed. The title of the show comes from one of Johnson’s recurring characters, Pisocko — a warped, unhinged Picasso-esque artist made out of socks. “Pisockophilia” is on view at Stux and Haller through March 21.
“Expatriation and exile fracture forever any sense of belonging and any hope of ever being complete,” wrote curator Octavio Zaya in his statement for Hayv Kahraman’s solo show at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, “How Iraqi Are You?” Kahraman’s autobiographical paintings on linen ruminate on her early childhood in Iraq, her upbringing as a refugee in Sweden, and her struggle of navigating two disparate cultural identities.
Japanese painter Fuyuko Matsui has made a big name for herself among Neo-Nihonga or “New Japanese” artists. She was recently named one of 2014’s most influential people by Nikkei Business, and is the first woman to receive a doctoral degree in Japanese painting (the first male was Takashi Murakami). Her artwork blends uniquely Japanese traditional painting techniques with dramatic subject matter. Check out more of her work after the jump.
Johnie Thornton is a self-taught artist based in LA whose solo show “Confabulation” recently premiered at Moen Mason Gallery in Tuscan, AZ. A series of paintings on birch panels, Thornton’s latest work explores abstract, geometric designs with figurative subjects occasionally thrown into the mix. His blue-skinned characters appear amid the patterns like disembodied holograms and become part of the refracted prisms floating in the composition. Though Thornton’s work appears somewhat sleek and futuristic, his colors and materials tie it back to age-old folk art forms.
Illustrious fantasies unravel in the “Dreamlands” group show, opening at Corey Helford Gallery’s CHG Circa space on March 14. Guest curator Caro (who is also our Hi-Fructose staff blogger) brings her Japanese Pop Art-inspired aesthetic to the show; she works with many of the featured artists, like So Youn Lee and Hikari Shimoda, through her arts platform Sweet Streets. The exhibition features 35 artists, many of whom our readers will recognize, such as Naoto Hattori, Tom Bagshaw, Hannah Faith Yata, Lola, Kazuki Takamatsu (HF Vol. 33 cover artist), and many others. The artists in the show were invited to interpret their dreams, and the resulting work is soft, utopian, and surreal.