Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You

Los Angeles

September 4 – October 16, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscape 1, 2020-2021
oil, spray paint, construction paper, newsprint on linen
80 x 70 in
203.2 x 177.8 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscape 1, 2020-2021
oil, spray paint, construction paper, newsprint on linen
80 x 70 in
203.2 x 177.8 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #2 (Glory), 2021
oil and spray paint on linen
70 x 80 in
177.8 x 203.2cm

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #2 (Glory), 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #2 (Glory), 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #2 (Glory), 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #3 (Iron Oxide), 2021
oil and found object on linen
70 x 80 in
177.8 x 203.2 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #3 (Iron Oxide), 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #3 (Iron Oxide), 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #3 (Iron Oxide), 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #4 (Rose Garden), 2021
oil, oil stick and spray paint on linen
60 x 62 in
152.4 x 157.5 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #4 (Rose Garden), 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #4 (Rose Garden), 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Walkscapes #4 (Rose Garden), 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Deck, 2020
oil, oil stick, and spray paint on linen
203.2 x 177.8 cm
80 x 70 in

Devin B. Johnson
Deck, 2020
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Deck, 2020
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Deck, 2020
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Where we once sat, 2021
oil on canvas
30 x 24 in
76.2 x 61 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Where we once sat, 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Where we once sat, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Office, 2021
oil, oil stick and spray paint on linen
80 x 70 in
203 x 178 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Office, 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Office, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Office, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Tenor, 2020-2021
oil, oil spray, newsprint and spray paint on linen
203.2 x 177.8 cm
80 x 70 in

Devin B. Johnson
Tenor, 2020-2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Tenor, 2020-2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
He Sat in a Puddle of His Own Disbelief, 2021
oil, oil stick and spray paint on linen
80 x 70 in
203.2 x 177.8 cm

Devin B. Johnson
He Sat in a Puddle of His Own Disbelief, 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
He Sat in a Puddle of His Own Disbelief, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
He Sat in a Puddle of His Own Disbelief, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
The Meeting, 2021
oil, oil stick, spray paint on linen
60 x 62 in
152.4 x 157.5 cm

Devin B. Johnson
The Meeting, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Save Two, 2021
oil, spray paint, and oil stick on canvas
13.75 x 9.75 in
35 x 25 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Seated Figure with a Rose, 2021
oil, spray paint, and oil stick on canvas
40 x 30 in
101.6 x 76.2 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Seated Figure with a Rose, 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Seated Figure with a Rose, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Seated Figure with a Rose, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Enter Into, 2021
oil and spray paint on linen
30 x 24 in
76.2 x 61 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Enter Into, 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Enter Into, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Suitcase (Clutch), 2021
oil on canvas
10 x 8 in
25.4 x 20.3 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Self Portrait of an Artist as Lover Boy (Totem), 2021
oil, spray paint, and oil stick on canvas
24 x 20 in
61 x 50.8 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Self Portrait of an Artist as Lover Boy (Totem), 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Self Portrait of an Artist as Lover Boy (Totem), 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Perch, 2021
oil and spray paint on linen
30 x 24 in
76.2 x 61 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Perch, 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Perch, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Once Enforced in This Temporal Manner, 2021
oil, oil stick, and spray paint on linen
26 x 24 in
66 x 61 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Once Enforced in This Temporal Manner, 2021
(scale view)

Devin B. Johnson
Once Enforced in This Temporal Manner, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Cali Iz Active, 2021
oil and spray paint on linen
14 x 17 in
35.5 x 43.2 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Untitled (Stamp), 2021
oil and oil stick on linen
12 x 9 in
30.5 x 22.9 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Untitled (Kiss), 2021
oil and oil stick on linen
12 x 9 in
30.5 x 22.9 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Melpomene, 2021
oil on linen
10 x 8 in
25.4 x 20.3 cm

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson: My Heart Cries, I Set Out an Offering for You
Installation View
Nicodim, Los Angeles, 2021

Devin B. Johnson
Marge, 2020
oil, oil stick, spray paint on linen
78 x 69.5 in
198 x 176.5 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Marge, 2020
oil, oil stick, spray paint on linen
78 x 69.5 in
198 x 176.5 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Marge, 2020
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Marge, 2020
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
There was Three, 2021
oil, oil stick, spray paint, collage on linen
60 x 62 in
152.5 x 157.5 cm

Devin B. Johnson
There was Three, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
There was Three, 2021
(detail view)

Devin B. Johnson
Flipped Wig, 2021
oil on canvas
14 x 10 in
35.5 x 25.4 cm
 

Devin B. Johnson
Glory #2, 2021
graphite and blunt ash on paper
12 x 9 in
30.5 x 22.9 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Totem (monotype), 2021
graphite and blunt ash on paper
12 x 9 in
30.5 x 22.9 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Yo!, 2021
graphite and blunt ash on paper
9 x 12 in
22.9 x 30.5 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Gates, 2021
graphite and blunt ash on paper
12 x 9 in
30.5 x 22.9 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Untitled (God), 2021
graphite and blunt ash on paper
9 x 12 in
22.9 x 30.5 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment I, 2019
glazed ceramic
8 x 6 x 4.5 in
20.3 x 15.2 x 11.4 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment I, 2019
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment I, 2019
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment II, 2021
stoneware
17.25 x 7.5 x 6 in
43.8 x 19 x 15.2 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment II, 2021
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment II, 2021
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment III, 2021
stoneware
9.5 x 7.25 x 6.5 in
24.1 x 18.4 x 16.5 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment III, 2021
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment III, 2021
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment IV, 2021
stoneware, glaze
11 x 7.25 x 6 in
28 x 18.4 x 15.25 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment IV, 2021
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment IV, 2021
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment VI, 2021
glazed ceramic
17.75 x 7.25 x 8 in
45 x 18.4 x 20.3 cm

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment VI, 2021
(alternate view)

Devin B. Johnson
Adornment VI, 2021
(alternate view)

Press Release

Devin B. Johnson left New York for what was supposed to be a six-week residency at Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock, Senegal in February, 2020 under an umbrella of the status quo. Though there were whispers of a virus ravaging the East, it felt foreign, far away, and American politicians and their supportive media ecosystems have a penchant for saber-rattling and fear mongering, anyway. He had his paint supplies. He was excited to set foot in Africa for the first time, to walk barefoot on its beaches, to acclimate to life beneath the equator. 

 

Then came the pandemic. Then the travel restrictions. Then the global awareness of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others Johnson could only read about from several time zones away. Six weeks became twelve weeks of cancelled flights and news of devastation back home. Twelve weeks became five months, after which Johnson and his Black Rock colleagues were finally able to board a government-chartered jet home. But home didn’t feel like home anymore. Home was boarded-up with plywood, vandalized, and overgrown. His own skin felt different, too. Everything felt different; everything felt abstract.

 

To readjust, Johnson underwent a seismic realignment of self. Inspired by Torkwase Dyson, Cullen Washington Jr, and the Dada movement’s walkabouts, he sought to find his way underneath Black compositional thought, underneath the skin, to delve beyond representational articulations of memory and experience and render them haptically. He no longer wanted to paint bodies, he wanted to paint souls interacting in liminal spaces, to capture and amplify their spirit and energy. He no longer saw his body as skin and bone, but as a transitional vessel to temporarily house experience, with a certainty of change. The texture on his canvases became almost sculptural, and he began to incorporate ceramics and mediums from happy times, like ash from blunts.

Within My Heart Cries, I Set out an Offering for You, Johnson’s third solo exhibition with Nicodim, forms are repeated and approached from alternate angles and varying scales until they mimic the reconstruction and reevaluation of remembrance and how he understands it. There is a graciousness in his range of compositions and the way he articulates them “tight, loose, and in-between.” Johnson does not meet these bleak times with despair, this body of work is an offering of gratitude.

 

Devin B. Johnson (b. 1992, Los Angeles) obtained his BA in Fine Arts from the California State University of Channel Islands (2015) and received a Masters of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute (2019). He was one of sixteen artists from around the world selected for the inaugural year of the Black Rock Senegal residency, and was featured in the Northeast and MFA issue of New American Paintings (2019), and included in Cultured’s “Young Artists 2021.” Recent exhibitions include Long Walk, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2021, solo); Melody of a Memory, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2020, solo); When You Waked Up the Buffalo, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); Hollywood Babylon: A Re-Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Jeffrey Deitch, Nicodim Gallery, AUTRE Magazine, Los Angeles (2020); Atmosphere of Certain Uncertainty, Residency Gallery, Inglewood (2019, solo); and Incognito, ICA LA, Los Angeles (2019).

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