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Dion Johnson, Glider, 2011, acrylic on canvas over panels, 60 x 160 inches

Just down the block from Michael Maloney’s Gallery, whose summer show seemed about as summer-y as possible, comes another contender for the iconic show for summer in Los Angeles, 2011. Widely exhibited LA artist, Dion Johnson‘s show at Western Project in Culver City, up now through September 3, really captures the summertime light of Los Angeles, as filtered through the lens of some of the city’s most iconic art and architecture.

Dion Johnson, Dart, 2011, acrylic on canvas over panel, 39 1/2 x 24 inches

Johnson’s paintings capture the vivid colors that some our most beautiful days deliver, with saturated hues and forms suggestive of the kaleidescope of colors and shapes that tickle Angelenos’ peripheral vision on that (all too infrequent) pleasant summer drive through our fair city. Curves and streaks also resemble taillights, fenders and pinstripes, all details of L.A.’s most widely fetishized objects.

Hard-edge abstraction, one of L.A.’s earliest truly local claims to fame in the world of contemporary art, (1959) weighs heavily here in these airy paintings. So, too, does the sense of optimism and open space that defined Los Angeles’s famed contributions to mid-century modern architecture.

Dion Johnson, 2011, acrylic on canvas over panel, 39 1/2 x 24 inches

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