Femi J. Johnson’s abstract storyscapes embody a uniquely raw and permissive form of contemporary abstraction. Floating harmonized color, shaped figural elements, and snippets of line drawing all find their position and coalesce as expressions of Johnson’s worldview. Familiar places, formal or self-educated beliefs, and personal or media-influenced subjects saturate his mutable compositions, freeing the viewer to explore interchangeable scenarios. Translating chaos into temporary but believable order on canvas, Johnson’s cohesive improvisations exalt the rich connectivity of life.
Femi J. Johnson was born in Manhattan, New York, and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania. His early talent in graphite and charcoal drawing led to a professional career as a Master Draftsman & Designer for companies such as Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies. After thousands of technical drawings over decades of work, Johnson redirected his creative energy back to the fine arts. He completed a two-year studio program in art at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, where his engagement with contemporary and modernist art inspired his emerging studio practice. In 2012 Johnson returned to the Lehigh Valley, where he currently works out of Expressions Studio & Gallery in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He has exhibited extensively across the region and internationally, with works in corporate and private collections. He is documented in Afrocosmologies: American Reflections at the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. His work is held in the permanent collections of The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art in Asbury, New Jersey, and The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, in College Park, Maryland. In May 2016 Johnson was recognized with an Allentown Arts Ovation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts. From November 2018 through July 2019, he was named Allentown Art Museum’s Artist-in-Residence, and for the past five years, Johnson has been a featured artist at the Museum’s Cocktails and Collecting fundraising event. He remains actively engaged as a teacher, mentor, and ardent supporter of the arts community.