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John Early

John Early is a multidisciplinary artist whose installations and other site-based works elevate the overlooked and reframe our relationship to things unnoticed, taken for granted, or cast aside. Early’s work particularly explores the poetic potential of simple gestures to destabilize calcified perspectives and create space for new ways of seeing and understanding. The past several years Early has been exploring applications of gold leaf on surface imperfections and using dirt as a medium for drawing and sculpture. Currently he is part of an interdisciplinary team creating an artist’s book addressing questions of spatial equity related to the absence of basketball courts in Forest Park.

Early earned his MFA from Washington University and his BA from the University of Virginia. His work has been exhibited at The Luminary, White Flag Projects, Center of Creative Arts (COCA), Orange County Center for Contemporary Arts, University of Notre Dame, Taylor University, and Covenant College. Recent public projects include participation in ART-IN-PLACE, a collaborative initiative between CNL Projects and Terrain Exhibitions; the Material World of Modern Segregation symposium hosted by Washington University; and MetroScapes, an Arts in Transit program placing artwork in bus shelters throughout the bi-state region.

Personal website

Work by John Early

A mirror on a stand, angled up at the sky, framing wispy clouds; the stand is two-legged, positioned in the soil of a garden in front of a house. Tiles trace out curved paths around the garden.

The Sun Will Get Up Soon, 2020

Mirror, wood, and rebar. 12" x 12" x 30".
Various gilded/golden objects—including a bracelet, a flat headed screwdriver bit, and a dental flosser, among other things—photographed on a light gray-teal ground.

Land Marks, 2018

Found objects and gold leaf.
A photograph of the sky, blue with the sun in the center slightly to the left, illuminating the sky in a bright white radial gradient, obscured by a chair floating in the air/soaring through the sky; the glint of the sun shines through its (mesh) material a little. Trees visible at the lower edge, power lines visible towards the bottom.

Eclipse (chair), 2016

Digital image.
In a gallery space, whose walls are brick with wooden floors, an installation: various car parts placed on cinder blocks, some of which are stacked. Two tires are placed opposite each other, in the midground.

Objects in Mirror, 2014

Found car parts and cinder blocks. Installation view at The Garage, Charlottesville, VA.
A gallery space: the walls are white and arch overhead, the floor gray. There is a circular window at the top in the center, through which bright light shines through, illuminating the gallery: in the center of the space is a curved wooden ramp supported by a wooden structure in front of an opening (whose windows and door are framed with wood).

Terra Firma , 2011

Wood and audio. Installation view at The Luminary, St. Louis, MO.