top of page

Gather - Double Bind Series

54 x 48 inches

acrylic, paper sewing patterns on canvas


The Double Bind Series 

John Westmark’s paintings convey a heightened attention to detail and strong sense of  compositional harmony that allow conceptual elements to be seamlessly woven through the  narrative without diminishing the aesthetic of the work. The primary material used in his work  is store-bought paper sewing patterns applied directly to the canvas. The patterns are  reinterpreted outside of their usual functional context as garment templates to create a subtle  intellectual dialogue that speaks of sociopolitical issues and gender. The female figure is presented as  an agent of revolt, stoic martyr, or fantastical being. In every instance the identity of the figure(s) is  denied by wraps, bonnets and bound faces, suggesting an anonymous “everywoman” or  veiled entity. 


By embellishing the garment patterns with custom text from contemporary feminist writing  and criticism, Westmark creates a conceptual narrative alongside the existing material narrative of  imprinted assembly instructions. This added textual narrative disrupts the nostalgic or stereotypical  notion of “women’s work” and admits an aggressive feminist dialogue into the visual conversation.  The viewer is asked to read both the text embedded surface and the image. 


John Westmark’s work is exhibited widely and is held in numerous private and public  collections including the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington DC; Weisman Art  Foundation and Museum, Malibu, CA; Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE;  Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC; and the Kansas City Art Institute. John’s work  was selected for the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program and he is the recipient  of two Individual Florida Artist Grants. John is also a Pollock-Krasner grant recipient,  was awarded The Gibbes Museum Factor Prize for Southern Art (Charleston, SC). 


John received an MFA from the University of Florida and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute.  John currently lives and works in Gainesville, Florida. 


    bottom of page