"Claire Seidl: Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art"
New Art Examiner
state that Jackson Pollock casts a shadow over twentieth-century
American art is to utter a convention. Like most conventions,
however, this one obscures as much as it illuminates. For
Pollock-the-myth has so eclipsed Pollock-the-artist that
one question is rarely asked: How good of a painter was
he, really? Looking at the work of artists who have been
influenced by him - Sam Francis, say, or Brice Marden -
I am struck by how much better their paintings are than
Pollock's. Pollock may be an artist whose influence is of
greater significance than the work he created.
from her recent show, Claire Seidl has been looking at,
and thinking about, Pollock's paintings, and it has done
her immense good. This exhibition displayed Seidl gaining
depth as a painter, taking Pollock's all-over linearity
and making it her own. Her trailing lines can spread out
over the expanse of the canvas, coalesce into forms, or
nudge against each other. Working intuitively, Seidl abjures
the programmatic and remains open to the experience (and
uncertainties) of painting. This approach can amount to
a kind of bravery.
course, bravery counts for bupkes if the work isn't any
good, but Seidl's paintings here are very good indeed. The
crowd-pleaser is The Eye of the Glass Blower, a picture
in which the paint handling is so luscious that only an
anti-painting zealot could fail to be seduced by it. Better
still was The Purse Stealer's Eye is Yellow, wherein Seidl
rhymes broad brush strokes and looping doodles against a
silvery yellow ground. The final result is a kind of Luminist
hokey-pokey, with a dollop of Hans Hoffman's push and pull
mixed in for good measure. I don't have an encyclopedic
knowledge of Seidl's oeuvre, but if someone told me The
Purse Stealer's Eye is Yellow was the best picture she had
ever painted, I would not question the point.
In her accompanying catalogue essay, Tiffany Bell notes that Seidl's paintings are "without irony." Having become the province of the artistically challenged, irony is a cheap commodity in our culture, and Seidl will have none of it. Her work forthrightly attempts to come with terms with painting, and with that most illusive of entities, beauty. With The Purse Stealer's Eye is Yellow and a few of her works on paper, Seidl does just that.
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