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Monash Art Design & Architecture

Monash University

Monash Art Design & Architecture



I am a painter, and also a writer. I think about painting as a space of critical possibility.

Helen Johnson
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Research output

It is an interesting vehicle for me because it is loaded, neurotic, problematised, a market force, scattered, essentialised and re-complexified. It is able to operate simultaneously within and beyond itself, able to be beautiful and horrible at the same time. I am interested in the complexities, loadings and problems of painting as devices for producing meaning today - turning the conditions of painting outward to address the world. I am interested in using painting to open spaces for reflective thought, where a multiplicity of positions can be recognized – thought-spaces that, in turn, implicitly reject didactic and ideologically driven accounts of the world.

I exhibit regularly in Australia and overseas. Recent exhibitions include Slow Learners at Château Shatto, Los Angeles, Ex-execs at Minerva, Sydney and Time Flies at Sutton Gallery, Melbourne. During the coming year I will be exhibiting with Laurel Gitlen in New York, with Mary Mary in collaboration with the Glasgow International Festival, and in a group exhibition at Sadie Coles, London. As a writer, I focus on the critical analysis of painting, and of art more generally. In 2014 I completed a PhD that has since been published by 3Ply as a book, titled Painting is a Critical Form.

Dr Helen Johnson, Lecturer
Slow Learners

Installation view, Château Shatto, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

MADA’s teaching & research staff are creative professionals, leading practitioners and renowned researchers who are at the top of their game, nationally and internationally.

Professor Shane Murray

Monash University
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