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"John Sproul: New Paintings"
2002-12-06 until 2002-12-28
Circle Elephant
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

John Sproul's latest body of work features a series of universalized figures in various emotional states, particularly those of alienation, isolation and transcendence. Sproul's figures appear as shadows, monumental yet formless, simultaneously personal and social. These are figures with a sense of the earthly, emphasized by the use of a neutral, natural palette.

The figures float as if weightless, occupying empty space, yet are rendered in a palette of weighty, dark tones. Transitional lights and darks allow the figures to radiate from the canvas, in a plane beyond the physical, where they appear as angels or phantoms. Their formlessness is shroud-like, as if hesitating before transition to another world.

Artist's Statement

I began my education as an artist in the academic study of the human figure. It is through these studies that I became indirectly aware of the inherent mysteries of the body and how the inner self is manifest through the physical being of the body. This indirect awareness led me to an expressive dialogue about the inner self where figurative form moved from a representation of the physical structure to a structure based on the inner self. As I have become more directly aware of this relationship -- which has been the driving force behind the creative path that is mine -- I grow more fascinated with the relationships that exist not just between body and self, but between individuals, between the individual and the universal, and between the infinite (that which cannot be defined physically) and the finite. I see that the inner self is manifest in the physical and that we can learn of the former from the latter. My work is the result of the dialogue that comes from what I am able to observe and discover of these relationships.

"It is my desire to discuss through painting the aspects of existence that are often overlooked by society the struggle, turmoil, triumph and oddity of the self."

Curator's Statement

John Sproul's latest body of work features a series of universalized figures in various emotional states, particularly those of alienation, isolation and transcendence. Sproul's figures appear as shadows, monumental yet formless, simultaneously personal and social. These are figures with a sense of the earthly, emphasized by the use of a neutral, natural palette. The figures float as if weightless, occupying empty space, yet are rendered in a palette of weighty, dark tones. Transitional lights and darks allow the figures to radiate from the canvas, in a plane beyond the physical, where they appear as angels or phantoms. Their formlessness is shroud-like, as if hesitating before transition to another world.

With the growth of a global economy at the beginning of the 21st century, many of the issues of the industrial era such as as alienation and angst have only become more pronounced. New systems of communication and trade have created new global communities but have not necessarily created a sense of global connectedness and cultural understanding. Because it is important to be aware of the emotional state of the individual now more than ever Sproul's work is a beautiful statement to the emotional power that allows each of to better behold our historical moment.


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