Ivan Seal: Today Rots Through Tomorrow

2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404
May 21, 3 PM - 5 PM — ends Jun 25, 2022
Ivan Seal paints ensembles of objects that are never completely traceable back to our real world. Constructed abstractions from memory are instead camouflaged as depicted realities. Seal’s subjects situate themselves in empty, ambient spaces often demarcated only by gentle fades in colour and blunt shadows designating a ground. These settings often share their colouration with the objects they contain, suggesting a non-natural light source, while in others the objects clash dramatically with their psychotomimetic backdrops.
Seal’s subjects are painted from intuition, free association and altered memories reflecting the skewed instability within our psychology. These imperfect fragments shift memories from nostalgia into visualizations of a speculative and uncertain future.

Using games to create ambiguity and chance encounters, Seal plays with the process of reading an image. His titles are often made by computer programmes that use algorithms to randomly generate words such coffic idionsionizesl or borlruum wailizates shieening. Taken together, these dark yet often humorous images and strange codes ignite a field of open-ended associations and connections.

For the series of paintings prepared for Richard Heller Gallery, Seal uses an armature analogous to indoor pet architecture to place and present objects and the narratives between them. Domestic furniture, souvenirs, new-age ornaments, flowers and prescription medicine become discarded arrangements, ritualised totems or pieced-together Golems in a dystopian aftermath of a future moving steadily out of reach.

About the Artist:

Ivan Seal was born in Stockport, UK in 1973 and studied painting at Sheffield Hallam University. Solo exhibitions include: Carl Freedman Gallery London, Monica de Cardens Gallery Milan, RaebervonStenglin Zurich, Krome Berlin and Spazio Cabinet Milan, Spike Island Bristol (catalogue), Contemporary Arts Society London and CEAAC Strasbourg. Group shows have included Bethanien Berlin, Brno House of Arts Brno, Daniel Marzona Gallery Berlin, Anton Kern Gallery New York, The Hole New York and Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm. Seal has worked collaboratively for ten years with James Kirby on the experimental music project The Caretaker providing visual material to work with and alongside The Caretaker music. This also included installation projects in Krakow for Un-Sound festival and Frac Auvergne (catalogue) a digital presentation for James Fuentes Gallery and presentations performed for Un-Sound and The Barbican. Collections include Government Art Collection UK, Norwich Castle Museum UK, Zabludowicz Collection UK, Kistefos Collection, Norway, Frac Auvergne France and Belfort and Musee du Chateau des ducs de Wurtemberg, France. Seal currently works as permanent visiting lecturer at The Royal College of Art on the Masters in Painting program.

Seal lives and works in Berlin.