Joan Mitchell Center AIR Program

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John Douglas Powers

Birmingham, AL
2008 MFA Grant Recipient

Artist's Statement (2013)

The ideas that give rise to my art can be quite diffuse. Classical Myth, Buddhist philosophy, landscape, and visions of the afterlife intersect freely with interests in technology, music, history, language, and geometry. The allure of the unattainable and the passage of time have become central to my work, encouraging the inclusion of sound and motion as compositional elements.

The temporal logic of this kinetic work mimics the viewer’s own existence, broaching questions of reality and illusion, the corporeal and the spiritual. Solid, tangible materials of construction are in distinct counterpoint to the ephemerality of movement, sound, and time. Implicit in both objects and images is the thin divide between everythingness and nothingness.

  • Haliades (three units), 2012, wood, steel, and electric motor, 20 x 100 x 100 inches each.

  • Ialu, 2011, wood, steel, plastic and electric motor, 57 x 78 x 108 inches.

  • Core Sample I, 2010, wood, plastic, and history books, 30 x 5 x 5 inches.

  • Remember, 2006, wood, steel, typewriters, motor, 4 x 17 x 20 feet.

  • Konza, 2012, aluminum, brass, stainless steel, acrylic and electric motor, 5 x 15 x 11 feet.

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.