ART | Martine Johanna

Opening May 4th, 2017, during Frieze week NY

a solo exhibition by Martine Johanna

The sense of an impending doom is being fulfilled in, “Something’s Wrong”. Embodying a disappointment in idealistic dreams in the harsh light of reality. Where nothing of what we felt like as girls has come to be. The works portray idioms of youth that melt away while other scenes feel like being swept away by dreamscapes. Naively drawn totem animals work as figments of the imagination. There is a distinct feeling of loss coupled with a gratifying effect of color, composition and light. Several figures confront the viewer with a mixture of anger, coldness, grief, persistence and distance.


Martine Johanna is an artist known for her vivid paintings with both figurative and abstract elements. Her autobiographic works, seemingly light hearted, explore the duality between youthful naivety and anxiety-riddled adulthood. The often female figures, fierce but fragile, crowd the compositions and occupy the majority of the space gazing distractedly into the beyond. Each of Johanna’s delicately rendered figures convey a sense of immersion within their own “internal psychic landscape.” The work is imbued with a mysterious narrative and sensation of knowing that each character in the work has a full and complex history that the viewer can never completely comprehend. The paintings have a signature prismatic palette, visually stimulating and playful while expressing an underlying sense of uncertainty and unrest. Martine Johanna has had international success exhibiting extensively in the Netherlands and abroad. A background in fashion design has influenced her depiction and ease with the female figure. Inspiration for her work include a mixture of childhood and autobiographical memories and experiences, documentaries on human nature, independent films and history. Martine Johanna lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands and is represented by Massey Lyuben Gallery, New York.

Opening reception May 4, 18.00 – 20.00
Exhibition: May 4 till June 10, 2017

Massey Lyuben Gallery
531 W. 25th Street, GR-5 (Gr. Flr.),
New York, NY 10001

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am-6:00pm

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