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Seth Koen

  • Tonysdilemma
  • 20101121072020-boris
  • 20120305072936-plumpplumb
  • 20120305073043-pushover
  • 20120305073148-limb
  • 20120305073250-lodged
  • 20120305073421-neitherherenorthere
  • 20120305073544-hotpants
  • 20120305073644-littlebuddy
  • 20120305073812-millscircle
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  • 20120305074515-trial
  • 20120305074609-nurse
  • 20120305074743-selkie

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Birth year

Lives in
Sacramento, California

Works in
Sacramento, California


Representing galleries


I try to approach my work from the most basic level I can, recalling grade school art classes and backyard experiments, where we used glue, string, paper, rocks and whittled twigs to make interesting things. I have had some years of schooling and living since then that inform what I find interesting now. However, I still value following my whims and instincts, hoping to maintain a sense of play and interest as I continue to make objects.  

Exploring my ideas this way, by making and then reacting to the results, allows me to satisfy my curiosities, often by accident. How will these two colors read next to each other? What if I use this color instead? How will this form look if made in fabric? Or wood? How does gravity affect it? How much weight will this thread bear? Can I carve this piece of wood any thinner? What is the minimal sculptural gesture needed to activate a room? How is this object affected by the space around it? How can I make a piece evocative without being too literal or specific? Ultimately, I hope to open a space in my work for many simultaneous readings, which move between the instinctual and the intellectual, connecting the functional and the transcendent.

Seth Koen

Born 1971 in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Lives and works in Sacramento, California


2011 - present  Fellowship at Kala Art Institue in Berkeley

2002 Master of Fine Arts, Mills College, Oakland, CA
1995 Bachelor of Arts, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA


2010 Narwhellian, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 A Thin Line, Jackson St. Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2008 Needle Pulling Thread, Sienna Gallery, Lenox, MA
Ellipsis, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005 around the corner, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2003 The Red Thread, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA


2010 The Rule of Typical Things, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 Station to Station, B. Sakata Garo, Sacramento, CA (two-person)
Contemporary 2009: Sculpture, Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO
2008 Expanding, Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Close Calls, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
2007 Hyper-ordinary, Y2Y Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2006 Von Jedem Etwas, Galerie Hafemann, Wiesbaden, Germany
Nancy Boy, University Art Gallery, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
ZusammenKunst, Galerie Hafemann, Wiesbaden, Germany
Microcosm, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA
Sketch, Memorial Union Art Gallery, University of California, Davis, CA
Art LA, Project Booth, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA
2005 Take Shape, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Material Matters, curated by Michael Schoolnik, The LAB, San Francisco, CA
Nancy Boy, L.H. Horton Gallery, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA
Nancy Boy, curated by Nancy Mizuno Elliot, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA
Microcosm, curated by Victoria Wagner, Brewery Project, Los Angeles, CA
2004 and now they aren’t. but they are., Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Intersections, curated Talia Greene, Chela Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Spring Fever, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
2003 Closer Than You Think, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Threads, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
2002 Sewn Together: Graphic Uses of Thread, curated by Laura Richard Janku,
Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA
The Tiny Show, Adobe Books, San Francisco, CA
of, relating to, or derived from: new work by Mary Button Durrell, Seth Koen,
Francis Baker, 66 Balmy, San Francisco, CA
Knot Quite: Twisted Works by Seth Koen, Susan Lyman, Janice Redman,
Richard Baker, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Master of Fine Arts Exhibition, Mills College, Oakland, CA
The Milhaud Chair in collaboration with Alvin Curran, Mills College Concert Hall, Oakland, CA
34th Annual Textile Exhibit, Olive Hyde Art Gallery, Fremont, CA
The Art of Collecting, Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa, CA
2001 Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship Recipients, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1997 Invitational Show, Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, MA
National Juried Show of Small Work, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
Juror: William Zimmer, Art Critic, New York Times
1995 Thesis Show, Johnson Library Gallery, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA


Visiting Artist, University of California, Davis 2005
Visiting Artist, California College of the Arts, 2005
Visiting Artist, Mills College, 2005
Nominated for the SECA Award, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 2004
Visiting Artist, University of California, Berkeley, 2003
Jay DeFeo Prize, Mills College, 2002
Graduate Research Grant, Mills College, 2002
Visiting Artist, California College of Arts and Crafts, 2002
Visiting Artist, California College of Arts and Crafts, 2001
Trefethen Fellowship for Merit, Mills College, 2001
San Francisco Foundation's Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship, 2001
Nominated to the Dedalus Foundation Masters of Fine Arts Fellowship, 2001

Recent Exhibits

Seth Koen participated in these exhibits:

Jun, 2015 Delicate Creatures
Foley Gallery
Feb, 2014 30s in the 40s
Gregory Lind Gallery
Jan, 2014 Simplest Means
Jeff Bailey Gallery
Nov, 2013 Idle Hands
Turner Carroll Gallery
Sep, 2012 Gallery Conversations & Closing Party
Kala Art Institute
Sep, 2012 Kala Fellowship Artists Panel Discussion - With artists Michele Carlson, Seth Koen, Sandra Ono and Gail Wight.
Kala Art Institute
Click here to see all exhibits for Seth Koen
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