Paradigm Gallery opens a solo exhibition of new works by mixed media artist Seth Clark
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Paradigm Gallery opens a solo exhibition of new works by mixed media artist Seth Clark
Installation view.

129697.- Paradigm Gallery is presenting In Isolation, a solo exhibition of new works by mixed media artist, Seth Clark, on view through November 21, 2020. The new series of collage and drawings continues the artist’s ongoing study of structure and aging architecture, but with a looser and more gestural hand. In Isolation explores control, constriction and the idea of home within the framework of the global shared experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For his fourth solo exhibition at Paradigm, Clark is presenting a new series of house portraits he created during quarantine. The new series is more bare and disjointed than the works Clark is usually known for producing, but they do not feel messy or careless. Rather, by leaving in drips and smudges of paint, the works of In Isolation give the viewer a more honest and less manicured look into Clark’s process. During this time of uncertainty, Clark has been allowing his medium to dictate the work, rather than mapping or sketching it out. This surrender of control has allowed the artist to go back to the fundamentals of his practice and provides a more natural physicality to the work.

The headlining work of the exhibition is Mass II, a monumental twelve-foot collage of fragmented ruins of dozens of collapsing homes layered on top of each other. Initially created in 2014, Clark made the work as a study in flood wreckage, prompted by images of the aftermath of the devastating Johnstown Flood, a catastrophic event caused by a broken dam that killed over 2,200 people in Western Pennsylvania in 1889. At the time of its creation, Mass II was a symbol of man’s attempt to assert control, as well as a symbol of the collapsing state of the country and the government’s negligence towards its citizens. In this historic year, Mass II feels more relevant than ever.

Clark’s practice has always revolved around decaying architecture and he believes we romanticize these ruins because they have the ability to take us into the past and release us from the current, an attribute which feels especially self-indulgent right now. The works of In Isolation are evidence of a time when, like an abandoned building, life is paused, floating. In our constriction, we are able to be mindful of the past and present, and in doing so, we are able to reset the course of our future.

Clark grew up in Seekonk, Massachusetts and studied close to home in Providence at the Rhode Island School of Design. He earned his BFA in Graphic Design, focusing primarily on print design and alternative typography. During this time, he discovered collage. This method of hands-on, spatial development took a major role in his digital work as well as his physical works on wood and paper. His drawings and paintings have shown nationally including exhibitions in the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Chautauqua Institution, Recent honors include Best in Show at the Three Rivers Arts Festival and publication in New American Paintings. Clark is a 2012 Flight School Fellow and was named Pittsburgh’s 2015 Emerging Artist of the Year by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. He is the recipient of three Design Excellence Awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Pittsburgh.

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