James Sundquist

James Sundquist is an abstract painter based out of a 1993 Volvo in Central Falls, R.I.

Artist Statement

"Sal, We gotta go and never stop going 'till we get there.'
'Where we going, man?'
'I don't know but we gotta go."
- Jack Kerouac, On the Road

My current body of work explores the American Road. The architecture of the Road reflects the architecture of the American gestalt—to go further, to find a new way, to go on. The Road allows for a temporary suspension of contingency—a transcendence. We leave our homes and its ties behind, and while in transit we are free to look ahead—to once again imagine ourselves anew.

It is often said to travel is better than to arrive, and I believe it is for this reason. Arrival places us concretely, while in transit we have space to dream.

This space to imagine, the space to desire, is what I want to give most. I make paintings that offer glimpses—here there is a moment of possibility.

I derive my visual language from that of the Road--the painted lines and striations; the distress of years; humble and also grand repairs.


Gas station shadows over stained concrete,
a breeze moving over hot pavement—
a glimpse of a dream gone by,

everyone moving somewhere together and apart.


I work as a workman, painting and repainting lines. I approach the destination, the ideal, and then negate it, only wanting to offer a glimpse; to hover in the sweetness between here and there.