Selected works by Jessica Sanders

Jessica Sanders
Saturation ABK1 & ABK2


Beeswax on linen

151.1 x 134.6 cm (each)


4 March 2014, Anna-Lena Werner, Artfridge

Sugar, salt and beeswax – Jessica Sanders, a young artist based in Brooklyn, New York mostly employs organic materials for her collection of cross-genre art works. Time changes the appearance: the materials break or melt, so that the process in itself becomes the final work. Her sculptures and paintings carry a similar aesthetic, that is both, minimal and corporeal. In a short interview Sanders answered us some questions about her artistic process and her interest in material's tactility.

Anna-Lena Werner: Jessica, when and why did you decide to become an artist?
Jessica Sanders: In college, when I found myself in the studio more often than not.

Anna: Even though your work includes paintings, sculptures and installations with very different material, you seem to develop each media with a unique aesthetic that is surprisingly coherent. Where is the connection between these three artistic languages?
Jessica: I approach all of them the same way – material and process considerations first, and format a distant second. I follow the idea and the endpoint presents itself. That same line of thinking through the initial phases of making is what brings paintings, sculptures, and instillations together.

Anna: A striking aspect of your work, especially in three-dimensional pieces, is an abstract reference to organic shapes and to haptic corporeality, or even viscerality. Why do you incorporate these tactile elements in your work and what do they mean to you?
Jessica: I favor tactility because of its directness. I take in what’s around me in a tactile way - I’m a tactile person. It’s the most honest way I know to put things back out into the world.

Anna: Also the material you use, such as bees wax, sugar, salt or hair, stems from an organic origin and often changes its shape during an exhibition: Wax plates break, a salt lick dissolves in water and, most prominently, wax melts. Does this processual aspect of your material refer to its ability to transform and to free it from being a static object?
Jessica: I’m interested in the relationships between materials – Building up, breaking down, yielding, consenting, push back, loss and gain. That intertwines process and materiality, looking for moments of shift. So yes, it looks at a things relative ability or inability to transform, but my end goal isn’t to free it from being a static object. Many ideas lead to a static state through change, and that’s just as interesting.

Anna: When is the most important moment, during the process of your material changing?
Jessica: One moment is no more important than another. It’s the entire course.

Anna: When you start a new work, how do you approach the project?
Jessica: I’m often most attracted to the ephemera happening in the margins of a process or piece. As I work through an idea, I’m always looking for a scrap or spill or break or slump to follow to the next idea. There is generally no beginning or end to an idea or project – one generally just slides or tumbles into the next.


July 2014, by Jennifer Piejko, Modern Painters

Ryan Lauderdale and Jessica Sanders, the two Brooklyn artists on view at Kansas (through August 2) in New York this summer, pair their recent works and reach the ends of the instant-gratification aesthetics spectrum. While Lauderdale’s tongue-in-cheek nouveau-riche design opposes Sanders’s muted monochromes and elemental mediums, both artists approach materiality with timeliness in mind.

Hung close enough to bathe in these sculptures’ artificial glow, Sanders presents two united groups of paintings whose material intelligence radiates. “Crumple” and “Saturation,” serial studies in materiality and tonal gradation, literally display wrinkles of time and stress. Stretching high-quality, lightweight gray linen normally reserved for suiting over wooden frames, Sanders covers each canvas in hot beeswax, then crumples the fabric haphazardly. Once cooled, the wax is roughly carved away, and the entire process is repeated. Works such as Crumple A38, Crumple A39, and Crumple A40 show how the artist’s process can give depth to seemingly two-dimensional works. Her “Saturation” paintings resemble Helen Frankenthaler’s canvases—here, the wax settles over the sand-colored fabric smoothly, easy elegant pours spreading over each square. Warm, rounded, tactile, this body of work more clearly demonstrates the organic abstraction of her processes.