John Schlesinger

John Schlesinger

    Studio & Gallery

    Philadelphia PA, 19104

    Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

    Recent Works

    Artist's Biography

    John Schlesinger born in Topeka Kansas is a veteran photographer turned sculptor and installation artist living and working in Philadelphia.

    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 has taught at the School of Visual Arts, Rice University, Drexel University and Rockland Community College. He has earned residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo and several other colonies. He recently completed a CFEVA Fellowship in Philadelphia.

    Schlesinger often collaborates with Tra Bouscarenas half of the team Dear Volunteers. In the last four years he has completed installations at CFEVA (Philadelphia), Unsmoke Art Systems (Braddock, PA), AC Projects (NYC), Whittier College (Los Angeles), Fort Mason Center for Art, San Francisco), Lola 38 (West Philadelphia) and Rockville Arts Center (Rockville, MD).

    He recently completed "After the Fall," an evolving installation at Cherry Street Pier on the waterfront in Philadelphia.

    Artist's Statement

    I create ceiling and wall mounted assemblages built out of neon, lab equipment, resin-cast photographs and rebar pulled from demolition sites. The works triangulate a conversation between sculpture, photography and light art. I call them neon hybrids.

    The work mocks normative 2-dimensional mounting traditions. It cannot be shipped and simply hung. I insist on constructing the neon hybrids site responsively, growing and grabbing across each unique space like a virus infecting its host space.

    The material references within my assemblages form a network of ideas that I pull from repeatedly. The photographs I deploy represent previous assemblages and installations, revealing an auto-cannibalistic slant in my relationship with own practice. Encased in resin, the photographs are at once fortified by that process, and rendered more translucent to the lighting effects of the neon. The demolition-sourced rebar presents an indexical representation of the trauma it underwent through the process of demolition. The rebar pieces emerge from the rubble like 3D scars. The lab equipment I deploy reflects my experimental and alchemistic approach to building. I cast the form of the neon to mimic the twisted, 3-dimensional drawing of the demolition rebar. The neon functions as glowing, fragile, anti-shadows of the dull, cheap metal of the rebar. Neon also serves to penetrate the surface of the photographs, lighting them both front and back. The works light themselves like deep-sea bioluminescent predators.

    Selected Exhibitions

    For full resume please visit John Schlesinger's website

    Solo and Two-Person
    After the Fall, Cherry Street Pier, Philadelphia, PA

    …the player to be named later, VisArts Center, Rockville, MD

    Basement installation, Lola 38, Philadelphia, PA

    Window installation, Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA

    A Player to Be Named Later, LoLa38, Philadelphia, PA
    “Dear Volunteers” collaboration with Tra Bouscaren

    Dear Volunteers, AC Institute, New York, NY
    “Dear Volunteers” collaboration with Tra Bouscaren

    You Doom Chunx, Unsmoke Systems Artspace, Braddock, PA
    “Dear Volunteers” collaboration with Tra Bouscaren

    Dear Volunteers, Whittier College, Green Leaf Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
    “Dear Volunteers” collaboration with Tra Bouscaren

    Neon Robot Iceberg, Fort Mason Center for Art and Culture, San Francisco, CA
    “Dear Volunteers” collaboration with Tra Bouscaren

    Daft Affect, TR Gallery, Berkeley, CA
    “Dear Volunteers” collaboration with Tra Bouscaren

    My Future Ex, site-specific installation series, Buffalo, NY
    “Dear Volunteers” collaboration with Tra Bouscaren

    Untitled Installation, The Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    John Schlesinger, Front Gallery, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy

    John Schlesinger, Quotidian Gallery, San Francisco, CA

    John Schlesinger, Williamsburg Art NeXus, Brooklyn, NY

    Selections from CFEVAs 2018 Fellows, Cherry Street Pier, Philadelphia, PA

    Wonkfest Tra Bouscaren, Max Rain, and John Schlesinger, CICA Experimental Film and Video Exhibition, CICA Museum, Korea

    A Player to Be Named Later, Lola38, Philadelphia, PA
    A "Dear Volunteers" collaboration with Tra Bouscaren

    My Future Ex, installation at University of Buffalo Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

    Vox VII, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA

    Hive/Cave, Pageant, Philadelphia, PA

    Duets, DCCA, Wilmington, DE

    Artist's Bibliography

    Catalog, Lola 38, Philadelphia, PA

    Catalog, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy

    "Pandemic: Facing AIDS", Umbrage Editions, edited and curated by Nan Richardson, Spring

    Van Proyen, Mark, “San Francisco e-Mail: Burtynsky, Schlesinger, Nimoy”, Art Issues, Summer

    "Artworld", Art in America, March
    Description of Louis Comfort Tiffany Award

    Boxer, Sara, review of "Snapshots" at Aldrich Museum, New York Times

    Professional Experience

    Center For Emerging Visual Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    Visual Artist’s Fellowship, Peter Benoliel Fellow

    John Armstrong Chaloner Rome Prize Fellowship in the Visual Arts

    Peter S. Reed Foundation Award

    Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residencies

    Aaron Siskind Fellowship

    Selected Collections

    American Academy in Rome
    Allen Memorial Museum
    Art Institute of Chicago
    Bill Arning, New York
    Bonni Benrubi, New York
    Blue Mountain Center
    Henry Buhl, New York
    Brooklyn Museum, New York
    Carnegie Museum of Art
    Dallas Museum of Fine Arts
    Deutsche Bank, AG, FDR
    Richard Flood, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Barry Friedman, New York
    General Mills, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Hamburg Kunsthalle, Hamburg, FDR
    Houston Museum of Fine Arts
    Lehigh University Gallery
    The MacDowell Colony
    Minneapolis Institute of Art
    Museum of Modern Art, New York
    Oberlin College Art Museum, Ohio
    Princeton University, New Jersey
    Aaron Siskind Foundation
    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
    Tampa Art Museum
    Walker Art Center, Minneapolis


    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    MFA, Interdisciplinary Art, Certificate in tbm

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
    BA, Philosophy and Photography
    BS, Art Education