Aristotle Contemplating Laundry Slate Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
This was a show featuring new works painted mostly on re-cycled metal objects. The perpetual cycle of laundry is a good metaphor for the general cycle of order into chaos, back to order and so on – the pristine garment worn, discarded, laundered, then worn again. Re-cycling is not a recent activity, we have done it ever since we began to work with tools and materials. In this exhibition I also chose to give some very old images a new contemporary life. Greek pottery, Persian manuscripts and European Old Master paintings all go through a process which I hope supports my contention that the art we made thousands of years ago is the same art we make today, it just looks different.
“Rembrant’s Aristotle contemplated a bust of Homer. John Kindness’s contemplates laundry. The switch seems to be a relief for the old guy: grandiose allegory is a strain these days, and the thoughts inspired by the soapy clothes waft above him in delightful angelic curlicues. …
we should not be surprised if John’s aesthetic ecology includes a red herring or two. “Aristotle Contemplating Laundry,” despite its title, is not based on Rembrandt’s famous painting, but on an image of Aristotle and his pupil in a thirteenth-century Persian manuscript by Ibn Bakhtishu. As we contemplate Aristotle contemplating laundry, John reminds us that the Islamic world preserved Western culture during the wasteland of the dark ages.”
Wendy Steiner, extracts from press release for ‘Aristotle Contemplating Laundry’ NY. 2007