Jess Johnson was born in Tauranga, New Zealand in 1979. In 2016 she relocated permanently to New York after twelve years of living and working in Melbourne, Australia. Her practice is influenced by the speculative intersections between language, science fiction, culture, and technology. Her drawings depict complex worlds that combine densely layered patterns, objects, and figures within architectural settings.
Johnson’s drawings are often displayed within constructed environments that act as physical portals into her speculative worlds. Her recent collaborations with Simon Ward have involved translating her drawings into animated video and virtual reality, giving audiences the simulated experience of entering the hypnotic realms depicted in her drawings.
Johnson’s work has been exhibited throughout New Zealand, Australia, and internationally where she has participated in solo and group exhibitions at Jack Hanley Gallery, New York; Art Basel, Hong Kong; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Hubei Museum of Art, China; Centre Clark, Montreal; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu; and Artspace, Auckland.
Jess Johnson is represented by Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, USA; Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia; and Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.