Daily Special

Sassafras
John Salvest
Sassafras
2019 | inked rubber stamp on paper | 50x38 | $4000

The artwork of John Salvest is witty, engaging, and often so obvious with wordplay it’s subtle. Salvest is poplar for his keen eye for sculpting and assembling provocative text-based works out of found objects and materials. Salvest hasn’t gone completely two-dimensional on us with this tree series, though. True to his playful yet inventive inclinations, each tree is composed entirely of its own intricately carved stamp, and the shape of the stamp identifies the tree. Ultimately, these ink-stamped pieces remain rooted in the tree dimensional.

Not branching out too far, “The project brings together my better-known inclination toward the altered ordinary object with the obsessive, usually text-based, rubber stamp drawings I have quietly produced throughout my career.”

At first glance, Sassafras and its forest of other ink-stamped tree counterparts like Red Oak and Black Cherry appear as drawings or sketches. The works become an artistic rendition of a synecdoche, Salvest making us all look closer and think harder about the last time we took an English class.

Based in Jonesboro, A.R. Salvest is a Professor of Art at Arkansas State University. He received his B.A.
In English from Duke University and an M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Iowa. In addition to being reviewed and featured in numerous publications, such as Art in America, The New York Times, Art Papers and The New York Examiner, Salvest is the recipient of various awards and grants including National Endowments for the Arts Fellowships in 1991 and 1993, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1998. He has completed public art projects for the Cannon Center for Performing Arts in Memphis and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. His work has been presented in solo and group shows throughout the country.

Newsletter Signup

Please select a gallery location.
Interested in specific artists? Select your artists of interest to receive updates.