Johnny Abrahams makes exquisite, labor-intensive, abstract acrylic-on-canvas paintings, covered edge-to-edge with endless iterations of patterned lines. “Beginning each piece with a grid, I can either express that structure or divide it into smaller, increasingly intricate geometries to form a progressively finer language of elements,” he explains. “Put into high-contrast figure-ground relationships, these reduced elements become vibratory, and they destabilize the fixed gaze.” He often works in black-and-white, and with curving, zigzagging, or straight lines, creating the illusion of movement and depth on the flat, still surface of the picture plane to call attention to the process of perception. With a long career ahead, Abrahams plans to explore color, shapes, texture, and space in future series, and our mind-eye-body connection to these various visual elements.
Op-art complexity and a shifting textural plane finds New Yorker Abrahams painting as a way to destabilise and redirect the viewer, the high contrasts and optical collisions conveying a sense of movement and dynamism that leaves a unique impression upon an individual. This piece breaks (comparatively) free of the grid and towards a massaging, wavelike composition, each hazy band forming and breaking in careful deployment of vertical strips of paint in varying thicknesses.