John Adelman’s amazing works are best described in his own words.
"My drawings emphasize conceptual forethought and process are equal to the final product. The paintings/drawings are diverse in scale, subject, and resources, and all created in a formula driven manner. They are an ode to the component. Each work uses a single resource. This is a collection of specific quantities, such as an unabridged dictionary, studio contents or a selection of televisions. The component, through a variety of methods, is culled from the resource and coupled with a set of variables. Through a prescribed numerical or alphanumeric transposition system, the drawing is realized. This reveals an order and structure amongst the chaos, happenstance and improbability. While a work is in progress, I attempt to remove the activities associated with aesthetic concerns. Instead, I concern myself with those decisions at the moment of its conception. I then allow the formula to nurture the work to its final conclusion.
Among the variety, there exists three stable systems used throughout all the work. Materially constant is the use of gel ink pens. A commonplace utilitarian material intrinsically devoid of any Art capacity. Physically, the use of layering. The compounded layers produce rich luxuriant surfaces belying and transcending the utilitarian material. Third a conceptually imbued process of identifying the individual component’s uniqueness and capitulation to the whole.
When working with text, the only resource used is the 1979 Unabridged Encyclopedic Webster’s Dictionary (previous Dictionary used prior to Hurricane Ike’s destruction within my studio.) I write the word and definition(s) until the formula is complete. The word that directly follows that last word of the previous piece becomes the new work’s title. The title word‘s definition is changed from the meaning ascribed it by the English language to a definition on how this particular work is structured."