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Jan 26
SoCal Sculptor Eric Johnson Brings Wood and Resin Masterpieces to Doyle Arts Pavilion

​The work of second-generation "Finish Fetish," or "L.A. Look," artist Eric Johnson will be on view at Orange Coast College's Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion from Feb. 8 until April 7 in an exhibit titled "Helix2: Sculptures by Eric Johnson." 

Johnson — whose art combines shipwright-like woodworking with the resins of hot rods, aerospace industry, and surfboards, all allusions to his family history and youthful activities from the 1960s and 70s — is well-known in the art world for large-scale sculptures that incorporate elements of mathematics, biology, physics and cosmology. 

Having studied at UC Irvine with Tony Delap and Craig Kauffman in the 1980s, and finding inspiration from others such as Larry Bell and DeWain Valentine, Johnson has developed a vocabulary that incorporates a fascination with a manufactured, slick look, using industrial materials, such as resin, in combination with wood frames.   

Johnson introduced a new method for creating the works that will be on display for "Helix2" — the use of a three-axis gimbal. It is a mechanism that has allowed him to spin a polyester resin, biomorphic-shaped mold so that the sides of it are coated evenly, in all directions, as if they were made in zero-G, when he pours in the colored resins, which solidify into a jewel-like appearance.

"In essence, Johnson bends color and medium, in a synthesis that problematizes precise definitions of sculpture or painting, and, one could say, the visual representation of scientific knowledge, too," says Arts Pavilion Director Tyler Stallings. 

"Helix2" is curated by former OCC art instructor Tom Dowling and current instructor Leland Paxton, and the College will host two receptions, one on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 5–8 p.m., and another on Saturday, Feb. 10, from noon until 5 p.m. The artist and curators will be present at both receptions, and admission is free. 

Johnson received his MFA from the University of California, Irvine. He currently lives and works in San Pedro. He has received many awards, most notably a grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, and has been included in numerous museum shows, among them Laguna Art Museum, a solo exhibition at the Torrance Art Museum, and a retrospective at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History. Johnson is represented by William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica and SCAPE gallery in Corona del Mar. 

The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College focuses on contemporary visual culture and creates dynamic programming that inspires interaction and dialogue between artists, students, scholars, and local and international communities. Designed by architect Steven Ehrlich the Arts Pavilion features a Main Gallery and Project Gallery. 

Upcoming exhibits for Spring 2018 at the Doyle include:

  • "Jim DeFrance: A Retrospective," Feb. 8–April 7, Main Gallery
  • "Helix2: Sculptures by Eric Johnson," Feb. 8–April 7, Project Gallery
  • "Mass Appeal OCC Student Exhibition," May 3–17, Main and Project Galleries

Admission is free for all exhibitions. Hours for "Helix2: Sculptures by Eric Johnson" are Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., with additional evening hours on Thursday from 11a.m. until 7 p.m. The Doyle also will be open on the following Saturdays: Feb. 10, March 10, and April 7, from noon until 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Feb. 16 and 19, and March 26–31 for school holidays. 

The Arts Pavilion is located next to OCC's Parking Lot D, off Merrimac Way, between Starbucks and the Art Center classroom building. A map of Orange Coast College is available at   

For additional information, call (714) 432-5738, or search Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion on Facebook.