In this painting, instead of one continuous line, groups of amorphous lines create their own contained spaces. The title of this work is a loose reference to Ursula K. Le Guin's novel, “The Left Hand of Darkness”—published in 1969. This book describes the use of a philosophy storage device. John Burt Sanders believes that science fiction and abstract painting share an affinity for critiquing a narrow understanding of human nature while maintaining the thrill of possibility and the unknown. Likewise, the two mediums share a similar affinity for reflecting on humanity at a certain self-referential distance.
Sanders' work focuses on simple, formal visual elements of color, texture and composition to explore systems of order and their inherent weaknesses. Sanders’ compositions feature curvilinear, painted forms that are derived from the solutions to two-dimensional mazes. These forms have the potential to suggest other imagery, like maps of unknown locations or cellular formations. The artist also employs subtle shifts in color variation in both the background and in the line work of his paintings to actively engage viewers—sometimes achieving a dizzying effect.
② Represented by:
John Burt Sanders’ work employs simple, formal visual elements of color, texture and composition to explore systems of order and their inherent weaknesses. The artist’s curvilinear, painted forms are derived from the solutions to two-dimensional mazes, suggesting maps of unknown locations or cellular formations—among other imagery. Sanders draws influence from Ursula K. Le Guin and other science fiction authors, sharing their affinity for reflecting on humanity at a certain self-referential distance.