Paintings by John Sindelar

Ellavon is pleased to present its second gallery: paintings by John Sindelar, who has kept studios in Florida, Mexico, and now in Michigan. For years his work was largely concerned with precious materials, fine paints and linens. Lately his work has moved toward more the transient and unstable materials.

Of this new series, John writes: "I think of my entire art practice as acts in a process of *trying to remember something*. Paintings like "Surfacing" and "List" use shoes as signifiers for absence and loss. Monoprints of the shoes are repeated, much as you'd list things or write someone's name over and over again. Just like polishing shoes, the monoprints are made by rubbing wing tip shoes with ink and then pressing the images off onto wax paper or cloth; repeating a simple act again and again, you hope to come to something in the aggregate of your actions.

"The materials for this series arose from trying to make paintings that were hard to see: images that, because of the glare of their surface, or the layers of wax paper, made you move around a lot in order to see them. This seemed appropriate for paintings about memory, like trying to see through the ice which froze after flooding the forest behind my house. I found the most unexpected blacks in the ice near the treeline and took the blacks, greys, and yellows of the ice as my palette. Wax paper came into the paintings because it begins almost clear and, like ice, becomes more opaque, almost white, the more you crease and wrinkle it. I began to make my own wax paper and then to paint with wax itself: Once melted wax is poured it cools so very suddenly, as if the water in your sink simply began to freeze of its own accord.

"'Tilled Field' is representative of this direction in my work. Ostensibly a landscape, the piece is made from layers of wax and wax paper covered in etching ink. The rows cut through the field are either applied with packing tape or cut through some of the wax paper. What little color there is comes from encaustic, oils, and unmixed house paint that I allow to separate before infusing it with pigment.

"Overall, pretty messy stuff."