Cedric Johnson | Franklin, A Word Nobody Ever Seems to Say | Ampersand Gallery | Portland, OR

August 25 – September 25, 2016
RECEPTION: Thursday, August 25, 6-8pm

Ampersand is pleased to present Franklin, A Word Nobody Ever Seems to Say, a solo exhibition of Cedric Johnson’s brightly colored and deeply imaginative works on paper and ceramic masks. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1952, Johnson has been making art for over 25 years at Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California. Speaking of his own work, he simply says that it comes “straight up from my imagination.” Taking clues from his titles, it is evident that this imaginary world is at once rooted in the everyday and oddly fantastical. A dynamic line drawing of two blocky women, for instance, is titled Mother and Daughter, while Let’s Get Married features a trio of well-dressed, disproportionate figures. At the other extreme, we have The Creeper, whose multicolored, distorted face and toothy grin is certainly a bit creepy, whereas a series of abstractions titled The Creature is dependent on what you bring to the work and will likely shift each time you view it. Central to the exhibition are Johnson’s ceramic masks. Like his works on paper, the masks are made of cubistic parts and are finished with bold, glossy colors, bringing alive the world of his drawings in larger-than-life dimensions.

Cedric Johnson, Cheer, circa 2010, watercolor on paper, 27 1/2″ x 19 3/4″

This is Cedric Johnson’s first solo exhibition. His work has been featured in group shows, among them Chromatic: 35 Colorful Years of Creative Growth, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco and John Hiltunen +1, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, curated by Matthew Higgs.

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Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books
2916 NE Alberta St., B, Portland, OR 97211
503.805.5458- Wed-Sat 12pm to 7pm, Sun 12pm to 5pm