John Somppi at 35×35


“Circles #5” and “Circles #7” are vibrant explorations of color and form by John Somppi. In these formalist studies, Somppi engages with a rich and limited color palette to investigate various color theories, creating a dynamic interplay of hues that includes magenta, red, orange, goldenrod yellow, lemon yellow, green, cyan, blue, and purple.

“Circles #5” features a series of overlapping circles that create a sense of movement and rhythm across the canvas. The colors are bold and interact with one another, often bleeding into adjacent areas, which gives the piece a fluid and organic quality despite its geometric foundation. The background is a textured amalgamation of colors that suggests depth and complexity, highlighting the artist’s use of multiple layers and textures.

In “Circles #7,” there is a progression of transparency and layering, creating a more pronounced sense of depth. The circles overlap in a way that suggests a sequence or transformation, with segments of pure color creating a kaleidoscopic effect. The interplay of shapes and the sharp contrasts of the segments invite the viewer’s eye to travel around the piece, discovering new interactions and harmonies between the colors and forms.

Both pieces reflect Somppi’s dedication to a process-oriented approach. He mentions his trust in the cohesiveness of the color palette and predetermined steps, which suggests a balance between spontaneity and structure in his creative process. The visual beauty of the final works is palpable, but it is the underlying methodical progression that informs the aesthetic choices, indicating a deep engagement with the medium and the formal aspects of painting and drawing.

Somppi is a California native who in 2013 moved to Utah, where he studied at Brigham Young University (BFA, 2022). He continues to live and work in Provo.



Artists of Utah’s 35×35Finch Lane Gallery, Salt Lake City, through Feb. 23

Categories: 35x35

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