The Easel

Rashid Johnson: Waves

The complexity of Johnson’s collages and mosaics has led some to accuse him of being “opaque”. His new show has a pandemic vibe with its “smeary, staring faces”, painted in “anxious red”. Are these the faces of people looking for an escape? Or are they our screen-obsessed selves “as we binge-watch our way through a global pandemic? … if there is any greater, deeper meaning in the work, I find myself too distracted by all the superficial, extraneous detail to see it.”