John Hillis Sanders’ Day to Night Exhibit

Posted on Oct 27 by SEASONS Magazine

John Hillis Sanders, courtesy Elizabeth Gordon Gallery.

John Hillis Sanders, courtesy Elizabeth Gordon Gallery.

Since 1984, the Elizabeth Gordon Gallery (15 W. Gutierrez St.) has offered a provocative collection of original work that rewards and captivates the discriminating collector of contemporary art. This year, the Gallery presents Day to Night, a month-long exhibit featuring an unusual and unique installation by American artist John Hillis Sanders. Spanning over five decades, Sanders’ career reflects his movement within mediums spawned by necessity and concept, and continues to grow using space and inspiration. Within a decade, his focus shifted to large scale, site specific, and installation work. The post-modern movement and the critical influence it has on contemporary art is exemplified in his extensive body of work.

The new work within this exhibition is a continuation of Sanders’ ongoing exploration since the late 1980s into surface and light. The show includes studio work, along with two light installations intended for viewing both during the day and at night under ultra-violet light. By day, Sanders’ lusciously textural sculptural pieces are formal abstractions. By night, they resonate with mystery and wonder, like a star-studded sky.

In mounting a simple chair upon a canvas mounted upon the wall, the artist defies gravity in a most theatrical way. This shifting of the “floor” invokes a topographical disposition that is surprising and unexpected. The everyday object suddenly becomes extraordinary.

The performative process of applying long whips of paint across the chair and canvas results in a layering of marks that viscerally define the movements of the artist at work, whose body and its dynamic behavior become part of the energy of the art. These sweeps of fluorescent paint, when viewed under ultra-violet light, alter the depth-of-field and electrify the surface with what feels like a web of charged particles in the ether. 

The work can be viewed within the gallery during open daylight hours and from the street during evening hours. The viewer is invited to take in both perceptions to appreciate the full effect of Sanders’ orchestration of surface and light.

Sanders’ extraordinary work is on display from October 30 to November 30, with an opening reception on November 4 from 2-4 p.m. Also, join Sanders during an artist talk at Karpeles Museum (21 W. Anapamu St.) on November 11 at 2 p.m as he talks about the ongoing processes of making his imagination come to life.

—Danielle Hazlett

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