Abstract Earth Gallery

SculpturePainting & DrawingFiber and Paper

Jon Wahling

Artist's Statement  ::
My work originates from the source and integrity of an Agrarian background. The fundamental relationship that exists between myself and nature suggests abstracted elements, figures, totems, and graphic equivalencies. Likewise, movement is an aspect of this relationship. The influences of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where I studied textiles, laid a foundation for design considerations that consistently inform the work. These early impulses matured through direct exposure to other cultures, particularly the Japanese aesthetic.

While in Tokyo, I visited the Paper Museum and to my delight, discovered a synthesis that I had been seeking. The Japanese create banners, animal forms, ornamental images, and all manner of joyous and religious expressions for parades and celebrations in wildly colorful, multidimensional papers.

Early on my work had taken on characteristics that blurred the line between textiles and sculpture. A transition from a textile focus to large scale open sculptural forms that were light, lyrical, and contained movement was perfectly suited to works in paper.

The figure, at this point in my work, takes on a quality of the ritualized totem. Figure and landscape are realized metaphorically through visual rather than intellectual apprehension.

The maturity of this work is realized through a synthesis of all my artistic inclinations toward an aesthetic of joy and completeness. The concept of "Life-plus" describes what I feel in the presence of all great aesthetic expression…it's existence adds to and extends our human capacity. This is magical and forever fascinates and inspires my own artistic gestures.

Pieces by Jon Wahling:

* Some of these artworks may not be for sale.

Selected Exhibitions:  ::
2000: "Uncommon Threads: Contemporary Regional Textiles", Museum in the Community, Hurricane, West Virginia, September 15 through November 18.
1997: Co-exhibition Curator: "Disciples of Reenchantment: - Paulus Berensohn, Ted Hallman, Mel Someroski; Jon Wahling - The Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, Ohio.
1995: "Five Sculptors Plus" - The Schumacher Gallery, Capital University, Culumbus, Ohio.
1993: Ohio Fiber Art Invitational '93 - Curated by Janice Lessmant-Moss, Kathleen Totter-Smith, Jack D. Smith, Brenda Kross Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio.
1992 - Five Sculptors - Dayton Visual Arts Center, Dayton, Ohio.

Selected Awards:  ::
Ohio Designer Craftsmen, Best of 1985 - Award for Excellence - Fibre.
Craftsmen U.S.A., 1966 - Museum of Contemporary Crafts National Merit Award, New York.
Exhibition '66, Third Biennial Beaux Arts, Designer/Craftsmen - Columbia Gas Award, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, 1966
Southern Tier Arts Show - Jury Award 1969 - Corning Glass Center, Corning, New York.
The Columbus Art League May Show, 1971, Lester C. Bush Memorial Award, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio
The Seventh Beaux Arts, Designer/Craftsmen Exhibition, 1973 - Bordens Award for Outstanding Design in Fibre, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio
Ohio Designer Craftsmen, 1980 Biennial Exhibition - Award for Excellence - Fiber - Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, Ohio
Ohio Designer Craftsmen, 20th Anniversary Exhibition - Award for Excellence - Fibre, 1983 Columbus, Ohio.