Isoceles, equilateral, scalene, right, obtuse, acute and equilateral. The humble triangles that we all studied in geometry figure prominently in contemporary abstraction, particularly in Andrew Seto and Deborah Dancy’s recent work.
In “Lazy Reader,” London artist Andrew Seto’s first NYC solo show at Theodore:Art, the outlined triangular forms are like puppets on a stage, coalescing into images of Modernist tabletop sculptures or congealing into densely textured shapes. Using a fat, loaded brush, Seto creates quirky, small-scale paintings that riff playfully on the dramas of everyday life.
When I asked Seto about his fondness for the triangle, he said he likes the vibrancy of the patterns they create, but also thinks the simple three-sided form is imbued with a kind of universality or perfection that metaphorically conveys beauty or truth.
“I find myself playing
with, or upsetting, their order in drawings and paintings,” Seto said. “Breaking one thing to discover something new. Positive spaces create
negative spaces, and vice-versa. That visual interplay carves out a
tension in the picture plane, even if the resulting dynamic is quiet or
meditative. Essentially, I use them to explore
pictorial space and to push through new images that resonate for me
Deborah Muirhead’s abstract paintings tell tales of early African-Americans (2007)
Inside the painter’s head (2011)
Is there some reason to think that these could not have been done by ANYONE?
Remember the old adage; if u can't say anything nice…
Besides, everyone Should paint!
Just because anyone can do something doesn't mean it's not worth doing. I personally think painting and most other art forms are about creating a bridge from the inner world of thoughts and emotions to the outer concrete reality. It's not necessarily saying "Ooh look at me I'm such an awesome artist that I can create something that most people can't." It's saying "This is the image that I want to show to the world."
I am not sure everyone could do this. Look at the subtelties, the gardations between colors, the way the composition holds together. At least it has a satisfying effect on me, almost a physical one, like eating something good, or feeling the heat of the sun or embracing a beloved being, maybe due in part to the physicality of the paint, the warmth of some of the colors, the combination of definite marks with vivid, but more watery
During a presentation that included drawings by de kooning I had students comment that anyone could do that. I let them try, no one was even close. Walk the walk, talk is cheap.
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We recently bought a postcard sized work by Andrew Seto to support Postcards from the Edge 2023. His brushstrokes are thoughtful and his paintings are lovely. Those who mock other artist’s works miss the point of the gift, time, commitment, and skill required.