artist Mitchell Johnson

Forty two, relatively new paintings by Menlo Park-based artist Mitchell Johnson will be on exhibit in downtown Menlo Park from Feb. 7  to 24. The show takes place daily at 883-1 Santa Cruz Avenue  from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm.

“This is a chance for people to view the artwork in person and talk to me about them,” he told us when we visited his studio in advance of the exhibit.

Mitchell says he “builds paintings,” making what he terms “collages that are totally abstract,” explaining that this is true even in his more representational works.

“As one of my mentors, Josef Albers, explained it ‘can you open your eyes and see more clearly how the shapes and colors really work.'”

In reference to one of the large paintings that will be on view, which shows Russian Hill homes in the foreground along with some very recognizable San Francisco skyscraper landmarks, he comments: “When you are on Russian Hill and see the house, you want the oddness to be there. It’s not about the view, it’s about how strange things really look when you look at them and don’t identify them.”

Mitchell says he spends time in the studio “doing stuff that I don’t really know how to do. Ultimately, all the paintings are experiments.”

What if those “experiments” are successful enough that the painting is sold? “It always hurts a bit when someone buys a piece and takes it away,” he admits.

If you’d like a collector’s preview of the works on Feb. 5 or 6, contact Mitchell: mitchell.catalog[at]

Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2020

{ Be the first to comment }

Artist Mitchell Johnson extends downtown exhibit of his paintings

Originally set to close yesterday, Mitchell Johnson is extending his exhibit of paintings through Feb. 16. Hours are 11:30 am to 5:30 pm with the artist on hand to answer questions and talk about the paintings. Address is 883-1 Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park.

Click to read more →

Artist Mitchell Johnson’s paintings on display in downtown Menlo Park

Menlo Park-based artist Mitchell Johnson is having his first gallery show in seven years. Titled Far Away, So Close: Selected Paintings 1988-2018, the collection includes 10 paintings that are headed to museums around the country and newer paintings that are for sale. “It’s a chance for people to understand how I got to this point,” […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park family gets caught up in World Cup fun in St. Petersburg

Author/chef Donia Bijan and artist Mitchell Johnson, along with their son Luca, watched Iran beat Morocco 1-0 at a World Cup match in St. Petersburg yesterday. Emails Mitchell: “We’re in St. Petersburg for a week, but we just get to see the one game which miraculously Iran won in the last minute. Iran hadn’t won a […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park-based artist Mitchell Johnson’s painting is included in Palo Alto Art Center exhibition

Forty-five years ago, the Palo Alto Art Center opened its doors with an exhibition exploring the conceptual use of color by Bay Area artists. On Friday, January 27 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, the center will be celebrating the occasion with a reception for the current group exhibition, Spectral Hues: artists + color. A painting by Menlo Park-based artist […]

Click to read more →

Mitchell Johnson makes art with a camera at Menlo Park Farmers’ Market

Menlo Park based artist Mitchell Johnson, who we last visited with in April, shows that he’s as handy with a camera as he is with a paint brush. This summer he’s been photographing the season’s bounty at the Menlo Park Farmers’ Market. We feature five of his photos here as part of our occasional Photography […]

Click to read more →