Surface Treatment: Seth Adelsberger

November 22, 2013 – January 10, 2014

Now we are at a second watershed. This time the loss of innocence is intellectual rather than mechanical. But again there are people who are trying to pretend that it has not taken place. Enormous resistance to the idea of systematic processes of design is coming from people who recognize correctly the importance of intuition, but then make a fetish of it which excludes the possibility of asking reasonable questions. – Notes on the Synthesis of Form

Surface Treatment examines the chemical and scientific properties of painting. The Submersion paintings are the result of a refined procedure that is a combination of washes, staining, and the gestural application of gesso. The paintings are created in batches of 3-6. Some paintings in each batch succeed, while others fail. The saturated coloration is the result of a focused study of the variations within a duotone palette of turquoise and magenta. The pigments are synthetic with chemical names like pthalocyanine and quinacridone. These colors conceptually relate to both basic printing processes (CMYK) and computer LED screens (RGB). Their final appearance (the “glowing” of the form) is a visual corollary to the universal experience of living a life mediated by backlit iPhone screens and laptops.

The Submersion paintings are also a hybridization of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting- painting movements strongly connected but historically distinct. The linear march of modernism only recognized clean breaks and categorical division between generations. This left the work of transitional artists out of the historical dialogue. It is now possible and relevant to reexamine and further these neglected yet vital stylistic territories. Despite their gestural nature and deep coloring, the Submersion paintings are based more in a structured analysis and automatic approach than potential association with emotion and expression. 

Press:

Surface Treatment: An Interview with Seth Adelsberger – BMORE ART

Top Ten Art Shows of 2013 – CITY PAPER

Deana Haggag’s 10 Favorite Exhibitions of 2013 – BALTIMORE SUN

Game Changers: Top Ten Art Exhibitions of 2013 – BMORE ART