Paths and Loops: Automatic Drawings by John F. Simon Jr.

Jun 08, 2019 — Nov 16, 2019

John F. Simon, Jr., a native of Louisiana, is a noted software art pioneer. Paths and Loops acknowledges this status, and explores the nature of his creative process with a breadth and depth that has not been matched before. Simon uses meditation in conjunction with drawing each day to mine his subconscious for portentous subject matter. The resulting series, his Divination Drawings, represents a twenty year undertaking that feeds his overall artistic practice. If an image regularly cycles through his daily drawings, he will elaborate on the idea by recreating it in a less improvisational medium than drawing. At this stage his work is apt to manifest in a variety of forms such as software, sculptural paintings created with CNC routers, and any other materials that appeal to him. Simon is a meticulous record keeper and uses his archives to track his life’s work, as well as better understand the very nature of creativity and artistic intention. He is captivated by how his understanding of works of art he already thought complete grow and change over time, revealing that perhaps a work of art is never complete, only enriched with further consideration.


John F. Simon Jr.’s work resides in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The Phillips Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and many others. His work was notably featured in the recent exhibition Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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