30s in the 40s
Gregory Lind Gallery is pleased to present a new series of works by Seth Koen, comprising a group of wood and crochet sculptures along with a series of letterpress prints made during his fellowship at Kala Art Institute. Shapes sprout from the walls like strange flora and fauna, while other pieces resemble sleek handwriting squiggles suspended like decisive gestures and surging statements in space.
The new works encompass two facets of Koen's artistic work: sculpture in the real world, and sculpture in a hypothetical, idealized world of forms and ideas. His three-dimensional pieces are bound by the limits of physics, particularly gravity, which compels problem-solving tactics that influence and strengthen the resulting works. Koen's letterpress works on paper use photographs of his drawings and sculpture from the past 15 years as source material. The rendering of his sculptures back into a two-dimensional space immediately frees them from the rigid constraints of the physical universe. In the absence of materiality, Koen's two-dimensional translations of his sculpture present the forms at their most essential.
In general, Koen's artistic practice has included the use of commonplace materials, such as yarn, thread, and needle—in permutations that are as uncannily familiar as they are fresh and unprecedented. Koen's monochromatic combinations of balls, loops, lines, and other basic shapes suggest the rudimentary building blocks of children's toys, but with a subtlety that is sophisticated and engages the viewer in the creation of novel and unexpected interpretations of space and form. Many of Koen's works are continuations of his interest in the balance between mass and line, as well as the creation of quirky, iconic images that spur imaginative associations.
Seth Koen is originally from Maine. He received his BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, CA. He has shown widely in the U.S., including shows in the San Francisco Bay Area at The Lab, Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Richmond Art Center, Rena Bransten Gallery, Headlands Center for the Arts, and San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; as well as Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York; B. Sakata Garo, Sacramento; Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction; Chela, Baltimore; and Hafemann Gallery, Wiesbaden, Germany. Koen has been featured in Art in America, Sculpture Magazine, The New York Times, Artweek, and American Craft. He has been the recipient of the Kala Art Institute Fellowship, Cadogan and Trefethen Fellowships, and the Jay Defeo Prize. He currently lives in Sacramento, CA.