Querencia (n.) a place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.
In Querencia, Lauren Seiden will exhibit new graphite on paper works, including her largest pieces to date. One, completely black, layered with graphite and texture, reveals a surface as absorbent and dark as it is reflective. The density of the graphite allows for a simultaneous diminution and deflection of light, so that the work may continually pivot as a stasis in motion, interacting with light. Another large scale work explores the relationship between pigment and shadow within the folds and forms she creates. This painterly application of graphite further expands upon the notion of drawing as painting and painting as sculpture. Pieces with a metallic, armor-like appearance also contain moments of breakage, like slices through a shield after battle. The act of folding paper strengthens its structure while weakening the surface, allowing for necessary manipulation of the material in order to maintain stability. These dualities of strength and fragility are encapsulated within a process that, like the work itself, strikes a balance between the internal and external.
Seiden’s work explores the essential elements of process and materiality through an intuitive and intimate layering of graphite that tests the conventions of drawing; breaking down the surface and transforming the paper into a physical, textural and structural form. Situating it not as a medium of preparation or provision, but as a final form, displayed on wooden stretcher bars. The varying qualities of each drawing are made through changes in applied pressure, speed, and application of medium. Although drawing is investigated through traditional materials, these works conceptually maximize the use of graphite by showing the physical properties of the artist’s actions left on the paper; gestural marks of her hand forcefully moving across the surface. These sculptural forms present an elegant manipulation of materials and transform these materials into objects.
Lauren Seiden (born 1981. Lives in New York City) received her B.A. in Painting and Drawing from Bennington College in Vermont. Her recent exhibitions include Action+Object+Exchange at the Drawing Center in New York City, ORGANIX: Contemporary Art From The USA, curated by Diego Cortez at the Luciano Benetton Collection in Venice, Italy, The Last Brucennial curated by Vito Schnabel and the Bruce High Quality Foundation in New York City, Works Off Canvas at Denny Gallery, Its Endless Undoing at Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York City, On Drawing Line at Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas, Texas, Eigengrau at Storefront Gallery in Brooklyn, Black Lodge at Interstate Projects in Brooklyn, Line and Plane at McKenzie Fine Art in New York City, and Itsa Small, Small World curated by Hennesy Youngman at Small Business Gallery in New York City. Seiden received the AOL and Chuck Close “25 for 25” Grant Award in 2010. Her work resides in numerous private collections.