University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

Associate Professor Ezra Johnson's "Infinity Rooms" at Freight+Volume in NYC

Freight + Volume presents Infinity Rooms, an exhibition of recent paintings by Ezra Johnson.

Untitled (Lilies 1), 2022, oil on linen, by Ezra Johnson

Untitled (Lilies 1), 2022, oil on linen,
26 x 24in

Infinity Rooms will be on view from June 23rd to July 23rd, 2022.

Referencing the concept of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room, Ezra Johnson's recent body of work uses the idea of layering and reflection as an opportunity for a unique brand of playfulness. Each painting enacts a reflexive staging of staging, a game of mirrors which draws the viewer's gaze to the materiality of painting itself as a world-creating platform.

Working from memory, the overlap of simulation and painterly illusion is key to Johnson’s work. Just as the materiality of paint and pigment gives way the illusion of spatial distance and objects not physically present, Johnson's Infinity Rooms becomes a fictive archive of imaginary figures. Like faces in a dream, the figures in Johnson's paintings have all the trappings of consciousness. Their faces and behaviors—readily identifiable and seemingly familiar—have a strangeness about them that derives only partly from the perspectival uniqueness of a mirrored Infinity Room. The air of mysteriousness that surrounds these figures also stems from the way they intrinsically redouble the concept of an Infinity Room in their formal qualities. 

Read more about the work at Freight+Volume