The infinite expanse of the universe is a sublime concept. That the universe is also infinitely small is an equally wondrous and mind-boggling conundrum. Merging these two concepts might seem a vast undertaking, but it only scratches the surface of what Los Angeles-based artist Kysa Johnson explores in her recent exhibition at Von Lintel Gallery. At first glance, her paintings evoke the Abstract Expressionist tradition of mark-making. But Johnson’s distinctive marks are not about expressive gestures, tracking the artist’s reach or the movement of paint across the canvas. Instead, the Glasgow-trained artist finds inspiration in what might be considered the antithesis of such emotional devices: scientific theory. The paintings’ elaborate and overlapping paths, drawn with a rainbow palette, combine patterns of subatomic decay and astronomical charts, effectively substituting conduits of atomic activity for constellation patterns found in the nebular landscape.
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