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