PRESS RELEASE: MANMADE, Apr  2 - Jun 11, 2016

Apr 2 – Jun 11, 2016

Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas is pleased to announce the opening of MANMADE, an exhibition of paintings by seven artists including; David Aylsworth, Todd Chilton, Joseph Cohen, Geoff Hippenstiel, Warren Isensee, Dion Johnson, and James Lumsden. An opening reception will be held Saturday, April, from 5 – 8 pm. The exhibition continues through June 11, 2016.

The gallery’s eleven year history is rich with exhibitions of contemporary painting by artists from throughout the United States. MANMADE is about contemporary painting - a tradition still very much alive and well. The seven artists included, each of whom has developed their own distinctive approach to painting today, are diverse in their methodology. Subtle overlaps and affinities can be drawn from the varied works and presents different responses to the specific practice of painting. This exhibition brings attention to the multiple threads of painting today.

David Aylsworth’s oil on canvas paintings continue to reference, in both title and optical display, the exuberance of Broadway numbers. Many show an intense physicality that comes from layering paint in such a way that both hides and reveals a compositional depth. His paintings have been known to change even after they leave the studio, as deeply buried pigments seep up. These nonchalant yet deliberate brushstrokes profess a quirkiness of execution typical of the artist’s self- deprecation and lightheartedness. Aylsworth earned a BFA from Kent State University and was an artist resident at the Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His works are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Dallas Museum of Art; the El Paso Museum of Art; and the Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi. His recent solo and group exhibitions have been included at venues such as Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Inman Gallery, Holly Johnson Gallery, Morgan Lehman Gallery, among others. The artist lives and works in Houston, Texas.

Todd Chilton’s brightly colored oil-on-linen paintings draw on the tradition of geometric abstraction, but depart from it in the artist’s insistence on the imperfection of his forms. Chilton paints abstract patterns, dense with irregular shapes, thick horizontal lines, and interlocking triangles. He begins by making thumbnail drawings of patterns in notebooks before starting on his linen surfaces, covering them from edge to edge. Todd Chilton earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from Brigham Young University. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at venues such as Feature Inc, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, Dolphin in Kansas City, Bellstreet Projects in Vienna, Austria, and the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The artist currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

Joseph Cohen’s paintings provide a contemporary take on traditional painting. Multi-Layering and a mix of commonplace and precious materials are crucial to Cohen’s desire to make something new of painting. Interested in both medium specificity and human perception, Cohen employs elements such as paint, pigment, varnish, diamond dust and gold on wood panels, creating works that invariably sit on the border between painting and sculpture. Cohen’s work is also notable for his mastery of color – the subtle variations of hue hint at the artist’s intense interest in creating a new type of artistic experience. Cohen received a MFA in Painting from the University of Texas San Antonio and a BFA, summa cum laude, in Painting from Texas State University in San Marcos. Cohen’s work is included in the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and has been included in exhibitions at The Mordes Collection (Palm Beach, FL), the New Bedford Art Museum (New Bedford, MA) and the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, among others.  The artist is represented in New York by De Buck gallery and currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.

Geoff Hippenstiel pushes abstraction in a manner that reinvigorates the materiality of paint. He uses materials such as enamel, wax, metallic pigments, fluorescent pigments, as well as industrial paints. Lavish, viscous, dramatic, and vivid - the paint allows for an illusion of depth while affirming the importance of surface. The artist’s compositions are loosely based on photographs, yet exemplify abstraction and the full texture of the medium.  Hippenstiel received a MFA and BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Houston, Texas. His work has been displayed in solo and group exhibitions nationally, showing in venues such as the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Devin Borden Gallery, Holly Johnson Gallery, Makebish Gallery, Marc Straus Gallery among others. Since 2010, Hippenstiel’s work has been featured and reviewed in various articles and publications such as: Glasstire, Arts+Culture Magazine, Art in America, and artltd. The artist currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.

Warren Isensee’s paintings are rendered with a precise freehand technique and eschewing the use of tape. His work manages to avoid the anonymous, impersonal appearance often associated with hardedge painting. One senses an artist at play, delighting in color and line cleverly marshaled, while at the same time engaging modernist conventions.  Warren Isensee studied architecture at the University of Oklahoma and subsequently majored in painting and graphic design. He was included in the 2007 American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts and received a Purchase Award. He received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 1999 and has exhibited extensively throughout the United States. His work is included in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, NY, the Jack S. Blanton Museum, TX, the Nerman Museum of Art, KS, and the Neuberger Museum of Art, NY, among others. The artist lives and works in New York City.

Dion Johnson’s paintings combine and explore dynamic opposites: expansiveness and compression, darkness and light. Johnson uses color to evoke the contemporary urban, digital and natural landscape of Southern California, and skews the vocabulary of abstraction into a hybrid techno-language. His compositions use broad open shapes with convex/concave edges against multi-planed bands, evoking atmospheric spatial shifts. Whether observing the curvature of freeway interchanges or bright noon daylight, Johnson’s work is a clear balance of the harmonic and dissonant qualities in our environment. Johnson holds a BFA from Ohio State University and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University. His work has been exhibited extensively in the United States, including exhibitions at De Buck Gallery, and Western Project. His work is included in many public and private collections, including the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH, Creative Artists Agency, Century City, CA, Progressive Corporation, Mayfield Village, OH, and many more. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

James Lumsden’s paintings reveal rhythm and movement, which are evoked by light, color and atmosphere. Lumsden uses acrylic paint and gloss medium to build contrasting layers of translucent paint. Each layer is dragged, pulled or squeegeed with various implements – the process being repeated, layer upon layer until the final painting begins to emerge. The finished work reveals the varying and contrasting colors and under-layers, which can be seen through the translucence, pentimenti, and depth of the work. In this way the viewer can trace the history of making through veiled nuances. Lumsden has exhibited in solo and group shows in New York, London, Edinburgh, Inverness, Canada, and Denmark. Lumsden’s career has been recognized with various awards, and his work is included in many collections around the world including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh; Mastercard International, London; Aalborg Kommune, Denmark; Paintings in Hospitals Scotland; and the Gulbenkian Foundation, London. James Lumsden currently lives and works in Edinburgh and the Outer Hebrides.

Holly Johnson Gallery in the Design District is located at 1845 Levee Street #100; Dallas, Texas 75207 (Levee St @ Turtle Creek Blvd).  Gallery hours are 11am - 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.  For more information call 214-369-0169, email, or visit