New York – Paul Sietsema at Matthew Marks Through October 25th, 2014

October 22nd, 2014

Paul Sietsema, Red painting (detail) (2014), all images courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Paul Sietsema, Red painting (detail) (2014), all images courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

On view at Matthew Marks is an exhibition of new work from LA-based artist Paul Sietsema. The exhibition includes new paintings and drawings, in addition to Sietsema’s two most recent films, all focusing on varying themes of production, consumption, proliferation of cultural objects and the systems in which these objects circulate.

Paul Sietsema, Painted Oval (2014)
Paul Sietsema, Painted Oval (2014)

After coating chosen objects in paint, Sietsema photographs them in his studio and duplicates them by hand on linen.  As a result, his paintings on view explore various states of function and existence for the painting itself.  For example, one work depicts a phone with its receiver lying beside it, representing the idea of transferring ideas between artist and viewer, while another work is a layer of red paint with exposed areas of untouched linen, suggesting that paint can make its own forms in exchange with the tactile engagement with it after it dries.

Paul Sietsema, Painted Coins (2014)
Paul Sietsema, Painted Coins (2014)

Conversely, Sietsema’s new drawings were made through a process of applying latex to the negative space of an image, after which ink is rolled over the surface of the paper. These drawings depict hands carrying out a series of actions: painting an oval, holding a cloth, and presenting a painted rectangular board. The technique used is similar in method to developing negative film, in that the negative space later becomes the positive.

Paul Sietsema, Black Veil (detail) (2014)
Paul Sietsema, Black Veil (detail) (2014)

In another vein, Abstract Composition is a 35mm film in which a sign rotates in space, bearing a brief description of a different object each time it rotates. The sign is meant to represent the infrastructural aesthetics within manufacturing processes – the language of automated industrial production.  Furthermore, the film itself was also produced using an automated system to create each phrase shown on the sign.

Paul Sietsema, Black Tools of Drawing (2014)
Paul Sietsema, Black Tools of Drawing (2014)

In addition, the 16mm film At the Hour of Tea was the central work in Sietsema’s recent traveling survey exhibition, and it is being shown in New York at Matthew Marks for the first time. The film is composed of five sequences, each configuring found objects into different variations of a tableau.  The found objects include an envelope, a typewriter, coins, an inbox, and Roman glassware. The found objects represent various processes of consumption, production, communication, collecting, arranging, recording, and piecing together.

Paul Sietsema, At the Hour of Tea (2014)
Paul Sietsema, At the Hour of Tea (2014)

Born in 1968, Paul Sietsema has exhibited at major institutions around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, the Kunsthalle Basel, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Monographs on Sietsema’s work have been published by the Kunsthalle Basel, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum.

The current exhibition at Matthew Marks will continue through October 25, 2014.

— E. Baker

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Matthew Marks Gallery]