John taking a break from painting. 1976 Dominique Hiigli


The earliest foundation of my thought development occurred as I gazed through the diffused light of clouds passing in the open skies above my father's farm in Indiana. With the trees, my companions; and the elements, my teachers; I puzzled over the intriguing aspects–the many moods and faces–of this beautiful and fascinating world of nature.

Later, in my twenties, having bolted the New York Studio School and the hard, naked urban landscape to find nature again, I inadvertently came upon a multi-faceted, wire-frame geodesic nestled in a park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Later, I began building these strange, minimalist structures using multi-colored acetate. Then, there were encounters with buildings wrapped in sheets of translucent colored plastic wrap at La Defense in Paris. Abhorring sensory overload, the jumbled space and frenetic pace, yet in need of access to material and the abundance of ideas (with no Saint Victory Mountain visible through grimy, smeared, waxy windows), and feeding off the cities' energy, I turned with inevitable necessity to a "pragmatic contingency"—to mathematics and art, and to the gossamer layering of transparent sheets of color.

Through the end on the twentieth and the beginning of the 21st century I have worked with geometric artists and institutions in the US (Synergetics Collaborative) and abroad (International Symmetry Association, Bridges Mathematics and Art, the Experience Workshop and the Mobil MADI Museum Foundation). What all of these organizations share is interdisciplinary collaboration and the rejection of a pseudo-modernism characterized by the irresponsible wastes of an international corporate and banking syndicate seemingly incapable of self-limitation and bent on its own destruction, whose chief accomplishment has been the production of a technology and consumer society that is seemingly out of control and unable to sustain itself, fraught with illusionism, sensualism, sensationalism and various forms of discrimination.

With the avant-garde and universal art in apparent decline and in danger of sinking altogether beneath the related morass of art for the masses these artists and artist groups, like solitary islands in a sea of universal chaos, continue to exercise a self-imposed discipline, one which searches for truth in universal principles and for its own inner values, within a framework of intellectual experience, social responsibility and transparency in art, education and public life.