Yesterday So Fast is Lauren Seiden’s second solo exhibition at Denny Gallery, following Querencia in 2014. Seiden’s sculptures create an environment of suspended time, in which materials defy the movements—falling, collapsing, crunching—that natural forces like gravity should propel them into. Instead, they remain seemingly mid-movement, caught in a transitional state we rarely have access to viewing.
Seiden achieves this effect by applying thick coats of graphite to a range of materials. She has departed from her last body of work, which were sculptural paper works with graphite applied to the surface, to transform steel mesh, thread, marble, and water into the elements of her expanded practice. Many of the new works extend from heights of five to ten feet down to the ground, existing at human scale or just beyond it. Graphite still pervades every surface, injected into the grains of the marble, floating on the surface of water in a pool, coating the thread, and delicately spanning the webs of steel mesh. These near monochrome works create an environment of monuments and memorials, punctuated by a single suspended, burnt orange thread piece, That Fiery Sadness Called Desire. Time is extensively considered, both in the exhibition’s title, “Yesterday So Fast,” and in The Future Is Lost in Yesterday’s News, a work consisting of a stack of newspapers embalmed in thick graphite; illustrating this idea—yesterday’s pressing present already weighed down by the momentum of tomorrow.
As in her earlier work, Seiden manipulates the strength of her materials, giving the viewer a sense that the surfaces are fragile and the forms are imbued with potential energy. Throughout the course of the exhibition, threads may fall, newspapers may shift, and water certainly will evaporate, emphasizing the need for the viewer to embody their experience of the work in the present.