2017 John Orth

John Orth

Virginia Commonwealth University

John Orth of Virginia Commonwealth University was awarded the 2017 Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship in Painting & Sculpture. The Fellowship carries a $25,000 stipend.


Orth describes his sculptural work as a fusion of “the organic and the inorganic to create a hybridized world of sensuous artifice.” The objects he creates are essential to his recent video installation Emporium, in which his sculptures are attached to the bodies of performers whose new composite bodies are let loose in the non-linear dream-time of cinema. This work attempts to penetrate what Jorge Luis Borges’ proposed to be the “divine pattern of the universe” by creating alternative patterns that illuminate how systems of division and signification unravel under the weight of their own contradictions.