Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present Object Lessons, an exhibition of sculpture and found-object based work by John Salvest. This will be Salvest’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. A reception for the artist will be held on April 23 from 6-8pm.
Salvest believes that the beauty, courage, sadness, humor, and absurdity of the world are reflected in the physical evidence of our human needs and shortcomings – specifically in the detritus of our daily lives. In this most recent body of work, Salvest further mines the evocative power of everyday objects, continuing to challenge our pre-conceived notions of their inherent value. He revisits business cards, reclaimed medicine cabinets, and pills and also introduces new materials such as secondhand romance novels and used crutches. The found objects are recontextualized, often with the assistance of the written word, to create works that both communicate personal realizations about morality and time and also comment on the triumphs and follies specific to our era.
Salvest’s studio is a laboratory where life’s scraps – a used coffee filter, a weathered clothespin, a deck of cards eroded by shuffling hands – are collected, sorted, and then reconfigured in an attempt to draw out potential meanings. The title, Object Lessons, refers to various accumulations of these familiar objects which through the artist’s gathering and sorting have now become visual aids meant to illustrate or explain an abstract idea - tangible representations of Salvest’s realizations about time, mortality, and the many paradoxes of the human condition.
John Salvest was born in Kearny, New Jersey in 1955. He received his MFA and MA at the University of Iowa, and his BA at Duke University. The exhibition Disappearing Ink, curated by Salvest, is currently on view at The Art Museum of the University of Memphis. His work has been exhibited internationally, including solo shows at the Phoenix Art Museum (Phoenix, AZ), the New Museum (New York, NY), Grand Arts (Kansas City, KS), Contemporary Art Museum (St. Louis, MO), Cheekwood Museum of Art (Nashville, TN), Brooks Museum of Art (Memphis, TN), and Arkansas Arts Center (Little Rock, AR). Salvest has also completed several public art pieces. Salvest has been featured in publications such as Art in America, The New York Times, Sculpture, and Art Papers.