Pictura Gallery

David Ondrik


Dates + Events

David Ondrik | Inheritance

Friday, January 8 2:00pm - Friday, March 26 5:00pm

+ Add to Calendar | More Info

Gallery Walk Reception: David Ondrik | Inheritance

Friday, March 5 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm

+ Add to Calendar | More Info

Inheritance Detail 2
49 I3527
49 I3522
49 I3505

Emerging from a year of too many deaths, a question collectively rises: “How do we process so much loss?” David Ondrik has been prodding this question with his photograms for several years. He states that in death “...the deceased have entered a realm the living cannot understand, but their presence is still felt.” Can an artist capture a state that is defined by the vacancy of a person? Photograms feel like a fitting way to explore this absence, as they are images created by the shadows of physical things.

A photogram is made by placing an object on light sensitive photographic paper. When light is flashed onto its surface, a silhouette is formed. The paper is usually then dipped in a fixative chemical that stops it from continuing to develop further. David Ondrik uses the process in an unusual way, with his late father’s woodworking tools in motion. Rather than a clear outline of a static object, Ondrik’s fluid technique results in abstract forms, drips, curling shapes, and black holes. He assembles the papers into larger works that offer an immersive encounter with the abstract forms. Some of the paper is left unfixed, meaning that over time, the patterns will change color or fade away completely.

Grief - when confronted, can have a similar trajectory over time. It’s a slow process, a gradual thing; its changes are often imperceptible from day to day, and may only be noted over a long span of time. Ondrik’s own experience was that the passing of his father required much time to process, and a special kind of quiet space.

Ondrik’s work aims to make a place where each person can sit with their own pain. Many sorrows appear in the forms on the wall. An insatiable cancer, the loss of someone we love, grief for destruction done to the planet, or to our social fabric. We invite you to sit for a moment, and bring whatever you might carry.

David Ondrik is an artist, educator, and writer. He received his BFA from the University of New Mexico in 1998. For ten years he taught visual art in public high schools. His artwork has been exhibited across the country, appears in numerous publications, and is in the collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, and multiple public art collections. He received his MFA in photography from Indiana University in 2017 and is currently a Lecturer in Photography at Indiana University.

Inheritance is an expression of the distress of shepherding a loved one through terminal illness, shattering community, and environmental disaster. These non-objective abstractions are made at a human-scale to envelop the viewer and create the opportunity to contemplate the treatment of ourselves; our neighbors; our habitat.

Exhibition Archives