pAUL SIETSEMA: FILMS AND WORKS
JULY 2–OCTOBER 12, 2014
Los Angeles-based artist Paul Sietsema’s films, paintings, and drawings engage with contemporary issues of art production, consumption, and proliferation. This exhibition features four films, Empire (2002), Figure 3 (2008), Encre Chine (2012), and Anticultural Positions (2009), which deal with the idea of constructed histories and address theories of visual perception and image construction. The issues engaged in these films range from a history of various avant-gardes through the aesthetics of those movements, to the anthropological objects that spurred the development of the first museums, to a merging of the subject and physicality of film as a material, to an investigation of the studio as the site of production through an appropriated lecture modified to describe Sietsema’s practice. This exhibition also features Sietsema’s paintings and drawings, which often depict the tools and materials used to produce his artworks. They involve a multilayered process of production beginning with encasing groupings of tools and objects from the studio in thick layers of paint on newspaper and capturing a digital image of the resulting objects. The image file is then manipulated and used as the basis for a “copy”, which is painted using various hand-based techniques. This exhibition will feature a group of such paint-on-tool constructions being shown for the first time.
Paul Sietsema was born in 1968 in Los Angeles, where he continues to live and work. Sietsema has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Kunsthalle Basel, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work has been included in the group exhibitions At Work, Studio and Production as a Subjects of Today’s Art, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst Siegen; A preface, Frac Ile-de-France/Le Plateau, Paris; Lifelike, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Shock of the News, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; All of This and Nothing, Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los Angeles; Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; When things cast no shadow: 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and Les Mouvement des Images at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Kunsthalle Basel, the Wexner Center, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art have all published monographs of his work. Sietsema was awarded a Wexner Center Residency Award in 2010, a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Fellowship in 2008, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005.
Curated by MCA Denver Associate Curator Nora Burnett Abrams, Paul Sietsema: Films and Works will be presented in the Vicki and Kent Logan Promenade, the Congdon Family Gallery, the Mary Caulkins and Karl Kister Gallery and the Joseph Crescenti Family Gallery.
This exhibition is supported in part by the Director's Vision Society and Colorado Creative Industries. MCA Denver also thanks the Citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
Image: Paul Sietsema. Encre chine, 2012 (detail). 16 mm film, black-and-white, edition one of seven, 15 min. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.