A New York City artist reinvents Piranesi’s Ruins for the 21st Century.
This Chelsea gallery has a roster of very talented emerging artists, that create art which is dynamic, young, meaningful and invigorating. As Sally Morgan Lehman, Founder and Director at Morgan Lehman Gallery explains, for The Armory Show the gallery is structuring their booth around a single installation by a young New York City artist who constructs her work around the premise of combining opposite notions and using that new concept as a foundation for her reinvented Baroque still lives or the 18th century Roman Ruins after Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
Kysa Johnson has threaded history, art history, a major representative of (broken) financial machinery, physics and eventual destruction of all things into one seamless presentation. The famous Churchillian “This too shall pass” comes to mind as you examine her recent work and contemplate the inevitable transience of it all. As Ms. Morgan Lehman explains, the artist and the gallery collaborated in re-creating the entire Armory booth in the artist’s studio a year before the show’s debut. Every physical element is a re-creation of the Bank of America waiting room in the corporate headquarters in North Carolina. Using white paint on black background (you may feel like you’re back in a university physics lab) to depict subatomic decay patterns – the principal gesture for this work, Kysa Johnson created her own version of Piranesi’s Ruins of Rome using the walls, the chairs, at the plants and other elements as her canvas.
Various permutations and combinations may be applied to interpret the artist’s works, which is layered with representative metaphors, and in which the elements co-relate to one another in an obvious way. Kysa Johnson’s current exhibition at the gallery Empire Loop expands on the technique and the subject and, in a way, is a precursor to the installation planned for The Armory. One can almost feel the intensity with which the elements move along the paths towards ultimate and inevitable annihilation!
Video interview transcript on page 2