john hillis sanders

studio #18

John Hillis Sanders’ career as an artist and educator spans over five decades. His interest in the post-modern movement and its critical influence on contemporary art is exemplified in his extensive body of sculptural work in light and space. He draws inspiration from artists of the 20th century such as Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, and Robert Irwin. As with these revered masters, the conceptual process drives John’s passion for making art, from the idea through the creation.


After graduate school at Cal State Long Beach, Sanders began his career as a ceramic artist. Marked by a sense of experimentation and chance, his approach to the clay work  was sculptural in nature, opposed to utilitarian. Within a decade, his focus shifted to large scale, site specific, and installation works. The mediums for these original works – whether clay, brick, wood, or metal – were dictated by concept, location and necessity. Primary to his practice is the defining of a given space, with light and surface critical to his process.


Concurrently, Sanders has enjoyed a long academic career, teaching both sculpture and ceramics at several major universities in Southern California, most notably California State University, Los Angeles and University of California, Irvine – along with numerous guest lectures and seminars.


Sanders currently works and lives in Long Beach and also in Santa Barbara with his wife Pma Tregenza.

“I think both art and life are a matter of life and death.”

– Walter DeMaria, December 1966

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