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Renowned for his wry marriages of everyday subjects with raw physical matter, Matt Johnson’s sculptures explore the paradox of visual forms through unorthodox and surprising materials. Whether rendering concentric Hula Hoops in steel to resemble nuclear diagrams or plastic beer cups in painted bronze, Johnson’s sculptures point not only to the gestural potential of consumer experience, but to the primitive connection humans have with materiality. Recently focusing on wood carvings of crumpled objects of refuse, Johnson’s painstaking renderings of crushed boxes, broken Styrofoam pads, and smashed plastic present tossed-off remnants of everyday life as sublime formalism. Johnson has exhibited widely in such international venues as: The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005, 2009); The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007); The Saatchi Gallery, London (2009); the Hydra Workshop, Hydra, Greece (2011). His site-specific work Untitled (Swan) was unveiled as part of Wanderlust, a group exhibition installed along New York’s Highline in 2016. Born in New York, Johnson currently lives and works in Los Angeles.


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2018        The Artist Is Present, Curated by Maurizio Cattelan, YUZ Museum, Shanghai

2017        Wood Sculpture, 303 Gallery, New York, NY

2016        Wanderlust, High Line Public Project, New York, NY

                Phoenix Rising: The Valley Collects, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ

2015        Lautner Beams, Pacific Design Center, CA

2014        Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA

2013        Lifelike, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA;

                     Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, TX

2012        Funny, FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY

                Lifelike, Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis, MN; traveling to New Orleans Museum of Art, LA;

                     Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, TX

2009        Abstract America, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

                Second Nature: The Valentine-Adelson Collection, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2005        Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millennium, Astrup Fearnley, Oslo, Norway; 

                     traveled to Bard College, New York, NY;  Serpentine Gallery, London, UK; 

                 Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland



Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL

The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Art, Oslo, Norway

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York