Johal's geometric paintings are reflective of the formal aspects of mid-century California hard-edge painting and the excitement, interplay, and subtlety of color of the color field and Op art painters. The artist uses her flat, painted surfaces to create a sense of three dimensional space. Johal writes, "In my painting, I aim to create a visual grammar that all people and languages can understand. Paintings should resonate with a quick intuitive understanding and bring joy to the viewer, and this can happen when both the physical and spiritual worlds are given a more equal emphasis.
I paint with striped diagonal or circular bands of color which forces illusionistic space out of my painting. I want the flatness of the painting, color and geometric shapes to be the subject rather than to create false illusions of things like representational art does when it draws from nature or fabricated worlds.
Initially, I spend a great deal of time drawing to come up with a design that is stable and fixed, then use color quite freely and randomly and call my working process "ordered chaos".
Music plays an essential part of my painting process. Music, like painting, reaches within to react directly upon the emotions. Color vibrates for me on the canvas just like music does in my ears. When I paint, I cannot distinguish between what I hear and what I see, it's like a blending of the senses.
In school I was taught to establish one focal point, avoid the center at all cost, shoot for the "golden section", stay away from the edges as not to take the viewer off, and never paint with two's or even numbers, but honestly, I break each of these rules in most of my work. In my X Series, I divide a rectangular space in four even quadrants, put an X in the center, push the eye outwards and off the edge into infinity with the kinetic rhythm of diagonal bands of color. This process is also echoed in my Emanation and Rite of Passage Series. In Convergence, The Stars Collide, Converging Colour and You Hear the Colours, two worlds converge to create a visual tension and possible main focal point, but there is a release where the viewer is taken to secondary and tertiary areas of interest. This visual rhythm echoes the same rhythm in music."
Angela Johal holds a BFA in Painting from San Jose State University and is represented by Slate Contemporary Gallery in Oakland. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in venues throughout the Bay Area.