During his student days at the Los Angeles Art Center School, John Denning became fascinated by the human figure. His background in the arts is rooted in painting and drawing with a particular exploration of watercolor. The work of Nathan Olivera, Richard Diebenkorn, and Francis Bacon served as inspiration in the two-dimensional medium, while sculptors such as Manuel Neri and Stephen De Staebler began to emerge as gateways to the third dimension.
Denning’s sculptural figures, often female, oscillate in time and space as they simultaneously appear to be emerging and withdrawing in ruin. This conveyance of flight and repose echoes within the presence of accompanying birds that grace the figures with another opposition: familiar and other. Via these leitmotifs, Denning acknowledges dichotomy, as if embracing every vicissitude of experience.