Reblogged from Lisa Solomon (with permission):
last week i went to go see my friend seth koen's show at gregory lind gallery . seth was a year ahead of me in graduate school so i've been fortunate enough to see his work progress for quite some time [we're in a critique group together as well].
i think what i love most about seth's work is the purity of it. he takes simple simple shapes - like circles and ovals - and makes me really pay attention to them. every small choice - in color, in material, in size, in placement - becomes oh so much more important.
the last few years seth has been crocheting. creating these soft sculptures that hint at masculinity [or the lack/deflation of]. the colors would remind me of sports teams, or tube socks. his work also often spoke to relationships... how things [people] might be tied together, who carries more weight... how we can be pulled taught, rest together, tied over distance, etc.
for this show seth decided to hand carve these really delicate maple sculptures. they are so thin. so fragile - and they cast amazing shadows [of course i was drawn to this]. they speak to the same ideas, but it's a perfect example of where your material choice matters most. hard rather than soft i begin to think about how the shapes and pieces relate in a new way.
but for me the most successful pieces were the ones that incorporated both the crochet and the wood. there is something so impossible, so wrong, so odd, so childlike about the combination that just grabbed me. i felt like the two components really worked.
my favorite piece from the show.
you can see the entire exhibition here
it feels to me like seth is on that precipice. i think all artists like their latest body of work the best. it's like an instinctual gut reaction. for me it's rare when something "sticks" for an extended period of time. often times i find myself with one foot in an old body of work and one foot in a new body of work. trying to make that cross over between areas seems terrifying and new and exciting. seth is there - but his transition is graceful - and integrated. i'm really excited to see where he goes next.
More from Lisa Solomon here.