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— Biography of George Johnson

Born in New Zealand in 1926, George Johnson would become one in the vanguard of abstract-symbolist painters to battle for ground against the Melbourne figurative painters of the 1950s and 60s.  Johnson’s conviction in the importance and power of line, form and colour would inspire his students and inform his painting practice for the next 60 years.  Early works are characterised by heavily textured, organically interlocking cog shaped forms; the 1970s ushered in a series known as The Brown Paintings or Peruvian Paintings after a trip there in 1972; and from the 1980s onwards, his paintings and drawings consistently explore the infinite variations on the triangle, rectangle, circle and line - chiefly in primary colours.

Johnson is represented in all major Australian public galleries and institutional collections.  A major retrospective exhibition of his work was held at Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in 2002 and a monograph was published in 2006 - J. Zimmer  & C. Heathcote, George Johnson — World View, MacMillan, 2006.

'His abstraction is still as strict and as sharp as ever, but is of that rare type which, whilst sticking to severe limits in shapes and tonings, offers an apparently limitless range of variation." Bill Hannan, exhibition review, The Bulletin, 1962

"[Painting] is my way of seeing life, relationships, and things around me creatively - my way of seeking a creative world.  I enjoy looking into, under, further, in search of the vital organic life force in all things.  It is my way of imposing a sense of order which I find necessary."  The Artist, 1975


Read more: Andrew Christofides on George Johnson, Artist Profile, 2016

George Johnson CV

Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.