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Eric Johnson
Orange Coast College, Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion, Costa Mesa, California
Recommendation by David S. Rubin


Eric Johnson, ""Helix2," 2018, site-specific installation of sculptures produced from 1993-2011. Photo: David S. Rubin


Continuing through April 7, 2018

For his exhibition "Helix2," second generation Finish Fetish artist Eric Johnson has created a small retrospective of sculptures, made between 1993 and 2011, that functions as a wondrously immersive environment. Composed mostly of elongated, glistening sculptures fabricated in the shape of a helix, the installation is animated by each work's spiraling movement and the reflections of both artificial light and daylight. Although placement of the sculptures is scattered and might initially seem random, the overall effect is of balance and unity, with a playful moment achieved as "Untitled Column" (2004), Johnson's homage to Brancusi's "Endless Column" (1918), pokes its head through a square opening in the ceiling to interact with light entering through skylight windows.

Johnson's fascination with the corkscrew-shaped helix began in 1993, when he noticed a pronounced twist in the torso of the woman depicted in John Singer Sargent's "The Portrait of Madame X" (1884). Interested in science as well as art history, Johnson saw a parallel in the shape of DNA strands, which led to his multiyear engagement with the helix. His unique process for fabricating the sculptures involves the use of a three-axis gimbal, a device that allows him to spin a polyester resin mold so that its sides are coated evenly as he pours in colored resins. Once the resins have hardened over wood lattices, Johnson polishes the surfaces to achieve their radiant opulence

Orange Coast College, Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion

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