On first perception Derek Johnson’s work appears to be wholly abstract, when in fact it is firmly rooted in his observation and analysis. Ripples on water, foliage waving in the breeze and light flickering through leaves blend together in a melodic movement of colour, pattern and form. The overlaying of these dissimilar structures results in ever changing, veil-like qualities, where dynamic spatial levels continuously seek to assert themselves. Through this amalgamation of organic structures, Multidimensional shapes begin to form by overlaying a variety of single viewpoints. Johnson begins to compose new forms; objects in their own right are created while still retaining the memory of their essential qualities.
Derek Johnson’s highly crafted abstract art works do not lend themselves to easy or frequent production. It has taken considerable time to get to the point where at last we can survey some of his output, and finally reveal part of his vision to a wider audience. Although he is a contemporary of other luminaries like Howard Hodgkin and David Hockney, and has frequently exhibited at prestigious venues in the UK and the USA, much of his mature work has not been seen outside his studio. The time for that to change is now.
Born in Hampshire in England in 1942, Derek Johnson has established himself as an international artist of memorable depth. Johnson has lived and worked in the North West of England, but has exhibited at respected venues nationwide, and abroad, from the very start of his artistic career in the 1970’s. His work features frequently in private and permanent collections.
It is no exaggeration to say that Derek’s love of art, in all its diversity, is his life’s obsession. Derek has taught and inspired generations of art students throughout his career. As Course Director in Visual Studies at Blackpool Art School. Derek’s expertise has been sought not only within college circles, but also as a member and former Vice President of the Manchester Academy of Fine Art.
Kevin Green – Cantab.