John Schlesinger, CFEVA 2018 Peter Benoliel Fellow
John Schlesinger presents a site-responsive installation rooted in the ceiling and the walls of the studio. Made from twisted salvaged demolition rebar, Schlesinger constructs strangely bent neon which mimics and riffs on the rebar. Recycled laboratory clamps hold the fragile neon close to the steel. Cast bronze sculptures and resin-soaked photographs mounted to shattered glass complete the mix. Thereby the neon functions as fragile, glowing, anti-shadows of the dull, hard metal of the rebar. Encased in resin, the photographs are at once fortified, and rendered translucent to back and front lighting from the neon.
The work questions normative two-dimensional mounting practice. Traditional photos are mounted or famed and then hung cleanly and discretely directly to the wall. Neon-hybrids’ clamping and mounting systems are both unique and highly visible becoming a vital part of the drawing elements in the work. This system further allows them to grow and adapt to the space or to a different one if it becomes necessary. Something like a virus or a cancer; they have the capacity to adapt mutate, grow exponentially and colonize a space.
John Schlesinger is a veteran photographer turned sculptor and installation artist. He has won a Rome Prize, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, an Aaron Siskind Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, the Village Voice, Aperture, Bomb Magazine, Art News, and the New York Times. Collected broadly, Schlesinger’s output can be found at the Walker Art Center, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Hamburg Kunsthalle, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, and the MOMA. He is currently a CFEVA Fellow in Philadelphia.