Elisa Contemporary Art

Mark Van Wagner



Mark has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions throughout US. His work is in the permanent collection of The Rockford Art Museum in Illinois.

He lives and works in Kilauea, on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, with his wife.


School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, BFA 1982
Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, 1978



Whether using paint to create illusion or used as an object, it is my intention to utilize the medium along with other mediums and objects to create my constructions. Many of the new works can be categorized within one of several series that are being developed simultaneously. One such series are the "Lost & Found." These works are usually done in multiples (diptychs, triptychs, etc). Some of the art works have thick and thinly painted skins on glass that cover and abstract recycled botanical images underneath them and then are spontaneously scraped away. The scrapings are executed within a meditative state and often reflect abstract versions of Japanese calligraphy. Alternating between concealing and revealing what lies beneath the painted surface the viewer is asked to engage in a study of investigation, challenging their memory, awareness and perceptual judgments seen through "the abstract" and "the scientifically illustrated".

In other series of works, loosely defined as "Primary Exams" and "Sand Box Constructions", I wish to playfully present subject matter (recycled debris, paint, sand, plastic representations, building materials, etc.) and then reinterpret the subject/object within the frame work, revealing the artistic decision making process. Conceptual references as well as applications free of conceptual references are utilized. Visual puns, rendered reflections, implied aesthetic hierarchy, as well as disparate style applications are combined with explorations into the nature of the object. Once again, the boundary definitions between presence and memory, between improvisation and preconceived, or between natural and artificial are brought into question.

Elisa Contemporary Art
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