Hydrophilic

Press Release

September 13, 2021 (Palo Alto, CA) - Qualia Contemporary Art is pleased to present Hydrophilic, a solo exhibition by renown eco artist John Sabraw. Sabraw’s art has garnered awe and awareness for addressing ever-more-pressing environmental concerns through innovative collaborations with scientists working on sustainable solutions. In this new exhibition, Sabraw explores these partnerships through painting, sculpture and installation aiming to spur catalytic change by bringing the distinct spheres of art, science, and entrepreneurship together. Hydrophilic will be open to the public from October 7 to December 3, 2021, with an opening celebration at the gallery with the artist hosted on October 9th from 4-7pm*.


The exhibition title reflects an affinity for water and pays homage to the focus of collaborations on efforts to restore waterways and habitats from Appalachia to the Bay Area. The pieces in the show emphasize local concerns, including close collaborations with organizations in the area. For example, Sabraw worked with Menlo Park’s Novoloop to incorporate their ground breaking recycled plastic into his painting of the San Francisco Bay, representing the complex and intimate relationship between the area’s waterways and human waste streams. In another painting Sabraw ground up samples of lab-grown Monterey Pine plant material produced by Ashley Beckwith at MIT and Draper Labs and mixed them into his paints, drawing attention to Beckwith’s innovative process which could allow paper to be produced without contributing to deforestation and the loss of Monterey Pine habitats so critical to Monarch Butterfly populations.


Works in the show are inspired by satellite imagery, dynamic flows of waterways, and the poetic beauty of complex ecosystems. Sabraw paints with vivid colors and a variety of textures as the works negotiate a flow state from abstraction to representation. Materiality is key as Sabraw incorporates sustainably sourced pigments created in collaboration with his Pollution to Paint team and Gamblin Artist Colors. To make these pigments, Sabraw works with a team of engineers and environmentalists to remediate streams polluted from acid mine drainage from coal mining; iron oxide pollutant is separated from the clean water and transformed into safe and sustainable artist’s pigment. Coinciding with the show, Gamblin will be releasing a new set of these paints available for purchase. A portion of funds from sales will help pay for the cost of further clean up of this pollution.


Sabraw began incorporating sustainability into his art practice at the turn of the 21st century, as a reaction to other forms of political protest that were proving inefficient. He realized that the sharing of resources was a root cause of all grievances, wars, racism, and other social ills, and began making artwork addressing these issues. As the climate crisis continues to escalate, Sabraw’s work offers an inspiring combination of action, activism, and art that reminds us that there are many ways to make a difference.


*For entry into the exhibition and reception, Qualia Contemporary Art is requiring full vaccination and masks at this time.

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About John Sabraw

Artist John Sabraw was born in Lakenheath, England. An activist and environmentalist, Sabraw’s paintings, drawings and collaborative installations are produced in an eco conscious manner, and he continually works toward a fully sustainable practice. He collaborates with scientists on many projects, and one of his current collaborations involves creating paint and paintings from iron oxide extracted in the process of remediating polluted streams.


Sabraw’s art is in numerous collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Honolulu, the Elmhurst Museum in Illinois, Emprise Bank, and Accenture Corp.

Sabraw is a Professor of Art at Ohio University where he is Chair of the Painting + Drawing program, and Board Advisor at Scribble Art Workshop in New York. He has most recently been featured in TED, Smithsonian, New Scientist, Time, and Great Big Story.

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John Sabraw

Chroma S4 Dragon

2017

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

48 x 48 in

John Sabraw

Silver Mirror

2021

Natural Graphite (Sri Lanka), Resin, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel, Steel frame

48 x 48 in

John Sabraw

Black Mirror

2021

Appalachian Coal, Resin, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel, Steel frame

48 x 48 in

John Sabraw

Vein

2021

Appalachian Coal, 24K gold Leaf, Acrylic on Jute

48 x 60 in

John Sabraw

Chroma S4 Tribute

2017

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

48 x 48 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Sickle

2021

Mixed media on Wood panel

30 x 30 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Moon

2021

Mixed media on Wood panel

30 x 30 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Nebula

2021

Mixed media on Wood panel

40 x 40 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Galaxy

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Butterfly

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Snow

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Squall

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Chroma S6 2

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Chroma S6 3

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Chroma S7 1

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

I will be gone, but not forever

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Monterey Mycorrhizal

2021

Mixed media with pinus radiata plant material from Draper Labs MIT, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

60 x 60 in

John Sabraw

Endeavor

2021

AMD Pigment and other media with Novoloop TPU material, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

60 x 60 in

John Sabraw

Hydro/Carbon

2021

Oil on stretched and primed Jute

48 x 60 in

John Sabraw

No End to The Desert

2021

AMD Pigment and other media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Static And Distance

2021

AMD Pigment and other media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Will O The Wisp

2021

AMD Pigment and other media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Ageless Darkness

2021

AMD Pigment and other media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Coal Dorodango

2021

Bituminous Coal, Apoxie Clay

~6 in diameter

John Sabraw

Graphite Dorodango

2021

Natural Graphite, Apoxie Clay

~6 in diameter

John Sabraw

Goethite Dorodango

2021

Goethite pigment from acid mine drainage, Apoxie Clay

~6 in diameter

John Sabraw

Hematite Dorodango

2021

Hematite pigment from acid mine drainage pollution, Apoxie Clay

~6 in diameter

John Sabraw

Chroma S11

2013

AMD pigments and other paints on aluminum composite panel

36 x 36 inches

John Sabraw

Chroma S2 Sol

2015

AMD pigments and other paints on aluminum composite panel

36 x 36 inches

John Sabraw

Chroma S4 Blue

2016

AMD pigments and other paints on aluminum composite panel

36 x 36 inches

John Sabraw

St. Francis

2018

24k gold leaf, acrylic resin, acrylic and oil paint with AMD iron oxides on aluminum composite panel

36 x 36 inches

John Sabraw

Terra Carto 2

2017

laser etched paper, acrylic paint on conservation board

24 x 24 inches

John Sabraw

Terra Carto 4

2017

laser etched paper, acrylic paint on conservation board

24 x 24 inches

John Sabraw

Carbondale

2019

16 Steel plates, micro biotic acid mine drainage residual, acrylic resin, local hardwoods, stain

48 x 48 inches

John Sabraw

Silver Mirror 1

2019

Natural vein graphite, graphite dust, acrylic resin on composite aluminum panel. Frame: 24k gold leaf, acrylic paint on mostly local hardwoods

48 x 48 inches without frame, 72 x 72 inches with frame

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Rift 1

2020

AMD pigments and other paints, resin, on wood panel

30 x 30 inches

John Sabraw

PC 101

2020

AMD pigments and other paints, resin, on wood panel

12 x 12 inches

John Sabraw

PC 103

2020

AMD pigments and other paints, resin, on wood panel

12 x 12 inches

John Sabraw

Chroma S4 Dragon

2017

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

48 x 48 in

John Sabraw

Silver Mirror

2021

Natural Graphite (Sri Lanka), Resin, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel, Steel frame

48 x 48 in

John Sabraw

Black Mirror

2021

Appalachian Coal, Resin, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel, Steel frame

48 x 48 in

John Sabraw

Vein

2021

Appalachian Coal, 24K gold Leaf, Acrylic on Jute

48 x 60 in

John Sabraw

Chroma S4 Tribute

2017

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

48 x 48 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Sickle

2021

Mixed media on Wood panel

30 x 30 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Moon

2021

Mixed media on Wood panel

30 x 30 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Nebula

2021

Mixed media on Wood panel

40 x 40 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Galaxy

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Butterfly

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Snow

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Squall

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Chroma S6 2

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Chroma S6 3

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

Chroma S7 1

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

36 x 36 in

John Sabraw

I will be gone, but not forever

2021

Mixed media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Monterey Mycorrhizal

2021

Mixed media with pinus radiata plant material from Draper Labs MIT, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

60 x 60 in

John Sabraw

Endeavor

2021

AMD Pigment and other media with Novoloop TPU material, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

60 x 60 in

John Sabraw

Hydro/Carbon

2021

Oil on stretched and primed Jute

48 x 60 in

John Sabraw

No End to The Desert

2021

AMD Pigment and other media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Static And Distance

2021

AMD Pigment and other media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Will O The Wisp

2021

AMD Pigment and other media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Ageless Darkness

2021

AMD Pigment and other media, on Honeycomb Aluminum Panel

16 x 16 in

John Sabraw

Coal Dorodango

2021

Bituminous Coal, Apoxie Clay

~6 in diameter

John Sabraw

Graphite Dorodango

2021

Natural Graphite, Apoxie Clay

~6 in diameter

John Sabraw

Goethite Dorodango

2021

Goethite pigment from acid mine drainage, Apoxie Clay

~6 in diameter

John Sabraw

Hematite Dorodango

2021

Hematite pigment from acid mine drainage pollution, Apoxie Clay

~6 in diameter

John Sabraw

Chroma S11

2013

AMD pigments and other paints on aluminum composite panel

36 x 36 inches

John Sabraw

Chroma S2 Sol

2015

AMD pigments and other paints on aluminum composite panel

36 x 36 inches

John Sabraw

Chroma S4 Blue

2016

AMD pigments and other paints on aluminum composite panel

36 x 36 inches

John Sabraw

St. Francis

2018

24k gold leaf, acrylic resin, acrylic and oil paint with AMD iron oxides on aluminum composite panel

36 x 36 inches

John Sabraw

Terra Carto 2

2017

laser etched paper, acrylic paint on conservation board

24 x 24 inches

John Sabraw

Terra Carto 4

2017

laser etched paper, acrylic paint on conservation board

24 x 24 inches

John Sabraw

Carbondale

2019

16 Steel plates, micro biotic acid mine drainage residual, acrylic resin, local hardwoods, stain

48 x 48 inches

John Sabraw

Silver Mirror 1

2019

Natural vein graphite, graphite dust, acrylic resin on composite aluminum panel. Frame: 24k gold leaf, acrylic paint on mostly local hardwoods

48 x 48 inches without frame, 72 x 72 inches with frame

John Sabraw

Polar Chroma Rift 1

2020

AMD pigments and other paints, resin, on wood panel

30 x 30 inches

John Sabraw

PC 101

2020

AMD pigments and other paints, resin, on wood panel

12 x 12 inches

John Sabraw

PC 103

2020

AMD pigments and other paints, resin, on wood panel

12 x 12 inches