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.