Today Rots Through Tomorrow: Ivan Seal @ Richard Heller Gallery
Richard Heller Gallery is pleased to present two solo exhibitions for painter Ivan Seal and sculptor Liam Fallon. Today, we look at the fascinating and perspective-bending works of Ivan Seal in his solo show, Today Rots Through Tomorrow.
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.