Drawn Lines // Stacie Johnson // May 17-June 23, 2019
“Drawn Lines” 17 of May —23 of June, 2019
NEXT EVENT: Sunday, May 26, 2PM: “Tenant Stories” Stories from Tenants who Fight Back. Please some listen to stories from tenants who have challenged their landlords for illegal behavior.
Opening, Friday, May 17 from 6PM-9PM
We are elated to open the Bushwick Space to our community and present new paintings by Stacie Johnson. Her works are influenced by her Gen Alpha daughter, by her participation in the movement for housing justice, and by daily life. We invite you to experience a central making space complete with embellished gallery walls, alongside these abstractions. During the course of the solo exhibition, Johnson will use the storefront space for activating conversations about hyper-local politics, public education, and the housing crisis as it relates to this very neighborhood.
Johnson’s work is decisive in its formalism. Her mirror-based abstractions take on bold patterns reminiscent and in conversation with Stuart Davis, Marilyn Lerner or Knox Martin. This exhibition will reveal a recent shift in Johnson’s work where she for the first time embraces painting as a way to communicate a political message. Johnson states "there is a connection between free time used as an artist, as a parent, or an activist -- and the privilege of free time in general.” Having lived in Bushwick for almost 10 years, Johnson has shifted from being a participant in Bushwick’s art community to getting involved in local political issues. Living in rent-stabilized housing and enrolling her daughter in public school are two examples of everyday life that are seeds for political action and now also research for her paintings.
The title of the exhibition "Drawn Lines" refers to a painting Johnson is making that is specific to the location of the gallery. Showing a map of a .5 mile radius around Elijah Wheat Showroom, a new painting depicts the overwhelming number of gerrymandered district lines that dissect and divide the neighborhood.
Other paintings on view, although abstract, are “inspired by the energy of living in this dynamic and almost dizzying city, as well as the process of making art with children, and seniors,” both which she has done in varying capacities at the local level. At the center of her exhibition, she will have a station where anyone on street level in the neighborhood can join in on the process of making art.
We are pleased to present the work and programs with Stacie Johnson by supporting additional events Stay tuned to our website and Instagram for a specific schedule of programming slated for Sunday afternoons at the gallery.
Stacie Johnson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in Communication Studies with a minor in Art History from the University of Iowa. Johnson’s solo exhibitions include Bull & Ram in New York, Threewalls in Chicago and the Contemporary Art Workshop, also in Chicago. Johnson has a relentless studio practice and an exhibition record that spans 15 years with 9 solo exhibitions and more than 60 group exhibitions in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Miami, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, London, and more. Johnson has also been a Visiting Professor at Northern Illinois University and at Illinois State University.
Johnson is insistent on being a free agent, following her intuition and responding to her immediate environment outside of a capitalist perspective. This inspires her supplemental roles as curator, organizer, and occasional activist. Dedicated to building community for artists, Johnson co-founded the artist-run gallery Regina Rex where 13 artist-members collaboratively produced over 50 exhibitions and events between 2010-2014. More recently, Johnson acted as a Curator-at-large at Knockdown Center, a large warehouse-turn arts and event space in Queens, NY.
Elijah Wheat Showroom is an artist-run space founded in 2015. It also serves as a nomadic curatorial experience. Based in Brooklyn, NY and comprised of Carolina Wheat-Nielsen & Liz Nielsen, two artists and curators that previously ran the Swimming Pool Project Space in Chicago. The gallery is named after their late son, Elijah, who passed away tragically at the age of 16. His creative insight, righteous vision and stylistic voice for trendsetting compose of the spirit that the gallery honors. As a commercial Gallery, they’ve been curating monthly exhibits presenting artists that are underrepresented in the art world. Voices embodied at EWS are socially conscientious, politically engaged and reflective of a creative community striving to cultivate interactions and instigate critical conversations to promote visual art’s accessibility.