Jess Johnson, Susan Te Kahurangi King and Gary Panter in New York,NY

I happened upon New Zealand artist Jess Johnson’s solo show at the Jack Hanley Gallery. The gallery is on one of the most charming streets in Tribeca, and the art was quite special.

“Set in monumental architectures of ancient and futuristic times, Jess Johnson’s drawings are inhabited by genderless humanoids, worm-like creatures, and bat-faced hybrids. Patterns, symbols, mazes, grids, and distant vanishing points draw the eye into hallucinogenic spheres. Informed by a variety of pop- and subcultural influences like early video games, psychedelic horror, and science fiction.” (Jack Hanley Gallery).

Drak Crystal, 2021
Pen, fibre tipped markers, acrylic paint and gouache on paper
30” x 22.5 in
GWOL, 2021
Pen, fibre tipped markers, acrylic paint and gouache on paper
30” x 22. 5 in
Rati in the Skull, 2020 P
en, fibre tipped markers, acrylic paint, and gouache on paper
22.5” x 30 in

In the back gallery there was a group exhibition of drawings selected by Johnson. I absolutely loved the work of Susan Te Kahurangi King, and would more than happily hang one of her pieces in my home if I could. I did a little stalking of her work when I got home, and became even more enamored.

“Born in 1951, self-taught New Zealand artist Susan Te Kahurangi King was one of 12 children. Later diagnosed as “severely autistic,” she gave up speaking at the age of four, and instead communicated through drawing, before giving up the practice for reasons unknown. In 2008, she resumed drawing.” (

Read this article to get her full background. I am now obsessed, and need to find the documentary that was made about her.

Susan Te Kahurangi King, Untitled, 1978
Graphite, colored pencil, crayon, and oil pastel on found paper
12 1/2” x 10 in
Susan Te Kahurangi King, Untitled, 1978
Graphite and oil pastel on found paper
12 1/2” x 10 in

I marvel at other people’s ability to draw, since I have zero drawing skills myself. I thought some of Gary Panter’s pieces were fun and because I like to know more about an artist, I had to look him up too. You can read more about this Texan on his website.

“Gary Panter was born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas. He studied painting at the East Texas State University and moved to Los Angeles in 1977. In L.A. he worked on multiple fronts, including painting, design, comics, and commercial imagery, establishing a pattern of creating across traditional boundaries, and in multiple media, that endures to this day.”

Gary Panter, Untitled, 2021
Ink and watercolor on paper
11” x 8 1/2 in

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