University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

New Exhibition: Professor Ezra Johnson at the Mindy Solomon Gallery

The Mindy Solomon Gallery is pleased to present the 3rd solo exhibition of painter Ezra Johnson, “Paintings from a Room.” Drawing from a long tradition of still life painting, Johnson elevates the mundane to a subject worthy of contemplation. Utilizing his well-honed painting skills and his sharp eye for identifying beauty, Johnson assembles a body of work that gives voice to a year in repose.

Ezra Johnson, Bubu and Alba, 2021, oil on linen, 24" x 27. Painting shows two cats sitting in front of a window facing inward"

Ezra Johnson’s work explores territories that include collage, sculpture and video; often at the same time. His paintings combine two different approaches-working from observation while also working from his imagination. An emphasis is placed on interior spaces, using rooms as stages for contrasting elements, interior and exterior light, contrasts between objects and figures framed within the straight lines of the architecture. He aims to create spaces that are both carefully observed and at times distorted, depicting the rooms in which he and his family spend much of their time, lit by windows that allow the impression of an abstracted treescape in the distance or a neighbor’s fence. A table where meals are served doubles as an office. His wife and son, and their two cats inhabit these spaces and they naturally find their way into the paintings as well.

A flattened sense of perspective combined with a geometric representation of light and shadow informs much of the work. This flat surface belies the painterly application of color that appears to dance across the forms—particularly figures. Simplistic marks create objects that appear to be in motion—a nod to Johnson’s background in filmmaking and stop-action animation. The use of pattern to create a decorative visual element as well as a sense of space enhance the picture plane.

Johnson reflects, “These paintings were created during the year of COVID-19 and represent a looking closer to home for subjects than I have in past bodies of work. In my previous exhibition at the gallery, I created a series of still lives depicting trash gathered from the Hillsborough River. For this new group of paintings, I didn’t even need to leave the house.”

Currently Johnson is preparing for solo projects at the New York (NADA) Frieze art fair, and at Freight and Volume gallery in NYC; as well as group exhibitions at the Orlando Museum of Art and CArD Contemporary Art & Design exhibition in Pianello Italy, organized by Paolo Baldacci.

To see more of his work, visit

Established in 2009, the Mindy Solomon Gallery specializes in contemporary emerging and mid-career artists and art advisory services. The gallery represents artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, and video in both narrative and non-objective styles. The gallery program explores the intersection of art and design through an ongoing dialog between two and three-dimensional objects, while embracing diasporic voices. Utilizing the gallery space as a platform for inventive exhibitions, museum visitations, and public lectures, Solomon invites a sense of community and aesthetic enrichment.

Image at top: Ezra Johnson, Treat, 2021, oil on linen 54x 70

Image inset: Ezra Johnson, Bubu and Alba, 2021, oil on linen, 24 x 27