frosch&portmann is pleased to announce Remember to Recognize the Woods, Seth Michael Forman’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. The show features recent paintings and a series of new porcelain sculptures by the Brooklyn and Kent, CT based artist.
Seth Michael Forman’s work continues to evolve from dreams and daydreams. Exploring autobiographical themes, his sceneries are loose associations of emotions and ideas rather than explicit representations of literal narratives. The carefully rendered oil paintings develop over periods of many months, sometimes years, as the artist draws from memories, ambiguities, and odd details in the world around him. He studies the faces of strangers, sees villains and saints pass by him on the street, and tries to make sense of obscure and isolated puzzling events.
All of the landscapes in this show are inhabited by a single male figure; set within a remote imaginary place and seemingly lost in revery, these middle-aged men play roles like actors on a stage. There is the Connecticut Hero, posing in a historical dress, or the gray bearded man (The Desecration), wearing Long Johns with a bright red tank top while smashing an ancient hominid skull. Gazing into space, the men depicted without clothes emphasize an inherent vulnerability; not “nudes” in a landscape in the classical sense—they are naked and helpless, as at birth. We are placed outside of these intimate scenes, voyeuristically witnessing private moments.
Forman’s latest work suggests a sense of history and confrontation with the past. The debuting porcelain skulls and bones titled Hominids symbolize an imaginary ancestry, a past fought against by a contemporary in the painting The Desecration. The tile of the exhibition, Remember to Recognize the Woods, was literally a phrase uttered to the artist in a dream. It can be interpreted as an imperative, suggestive of anxiety and a yearning to locate a time and place, and how to get back to it, from the edges of consciousness. Seth Michael Forman develops an internal world of dreams, ambiguities, memories, and imagination. Seth Michael Forman was born in Brooklyn, New York. His paintings have been included in over fifty exhibitions, including “Picturing the Modern Amazon” at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and have been featured on “State of the Arts,” a PBS broadcast. The New York Foundation for the Arts has twice awarded him a Painting Fellowship. He currently teaches Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.