Walker Contemporary is thrilled to announce the first East Coast solo exhibition for emerging Los Angeles based artist Elisa Johns. Johns’ oil on canvas paintings “establish a departure point into a fantastical narrative space” where she explores contemporary concepts surrounding female identity and sexuality.
In recent work glamorous waif thin women are depicted in lushly painted landscapes. This combination allows Johns to explore ideas of “the natural” as they pertain to beauty, culture, urban living and in particular women.
A significant shift has taken place however, in Johns’ newest work, with names that reference Greek goddesses, the focus becomes the women as they explore the contemporary social constructs that both liberate and confine them. Johns' certainly shakes it up with her heroins' direct gaze, locking eyes with the viewer, challenging notions of women's roles. Instead of the landscape from the past, Johns places her female figures or characters in decadent interiors. These domestic spaces remind us of the outdated and traditional roles of women. However, Johns transforms the interiors into stages or movie sets in which woman get to try on costumes and act out various roles. Conspicuously absent however, is the presence of the male figure, liberating the female and allowing her to be both writer and director of her own script.