Solo exhibition
Massey Klein Gallery
New York, USA

The works in Balancing Act are vibrant and composed. Her heroines visibly grapple with the weight and tension of assumed expectations that society has placed on them in a time of social scrutiny. The figures’ internal dilemmas, made visible through concentrated facial expressions and calculated uneasy postures, their infractions spilling into their surroundings, manifesting in rainbows, fractured and hemorrhaging color fields, and even levitating or deformed furnishings.

The artist’s focus on the interior thoughts and struggles of her subjects are depicted here through the relationship between the figure and interior setting and objects. One subject poses with a bowling ball on her head; in another, she uses her powerful gaze to suspend the object. Johanna pays special attention to commonplace domestic items. In Composure and Control, an intricate rug grounds the figure unable to stand upright within the frame, whilst the background becomes fractured and ambiguous. In Critical Thinking, Release, and The Floor Is Lava, the figures are positioned confidently in and on chairs, suggesting leverage and power from vulnerable poses. 

Featured works:


Solo exhibition
KochXbos Gallery
Amsterdam, NL

Surrender Dorothy; a phrase from the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz written in the sky in a cloud of dark ink, calling out for the surrender of the main female protagonist; Dorothy, who found herself accidentally trapped in an adverse situation full of magical seductions and dark threats. The artist makes a connection with the idea of romance versus loving yourself; a love that is often sabotaged by self-hatred and fear of heartbreak. The intense desire for an archaic romantic love, one full of wild adventures and dedication. The idea of an idealized love is (and was for generations) imprinted from an early age, especially onto girls. The artist speculates that what we learn as women is that the ultimate solution to self rejection can be “solved” through being admired, and idealisticly with obtaining the perfect romance.

A romanticization discovered for the first time Johanna experienced growing up when seeking comfort and exitement in grim fairy tales, romantic stories and films, deeply rooted in the idea of what true love will be like, how to submit, to lose oneself, how it would be like to be devoured by love. This concept within common media was a major influence in the artists tumultuous teen years. It sparked a deeply embedded fascination with obsessional behavior, in this case, the idea of losing yourself in, and the suffering tied to, the unattainable: to find “the One”. 

Featured works:

group shows Thinkspace, KochxBos gallery