Ada Sadler


Look for a long time at what pleases you, 
And for a longer time at what pains you.
- Colette

Since 1996, Sadler has focused on painting unoccupied chairs – the emptiness of 
which strikes her as both personally and symbolically compelling.  Informed by photographs 
she has personally taken, Sadler does not try to create photorealist paintings but instead uses 
these images as a literal base.  These images are developed and clarified, multiple and 
complicated memory associations are evoked and subtly contribute to the quality of the 
paintings. The empty chair is rich in symbolism, simultaneously creating a presence and an 
Each painting is created with an extremely fine brush applying thin layers of oil, 
giving the final painting a luminously smooth finish.  Sadler’s scale is similarly detailed, each 
painting in this exhibit varies between six and nine inches square.  Her interpretation of the 
everyday object is extraordinary, taking on very personal spaces amidst the familiar places 
she uses as inspiration.  

Ada Sadler currently lives in San Francisco. She received her BFA from the 
University of Kansas in 1976. Her work has been exhibited at the Triton Museum of Art, 
California Museum of Art, The Haggin Museum, and is also held in private and public 
collections throughout the United States. 

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