My work explores the essential elements of process and materiality weighted by a conceptual anchor. Through an intuitive and intimate layering of graphite, I test the conventions of drawing by breaking down or building up the surface in order to transform these materials into a physical, textural and structural form. These works create a balance of strength and fragility, allowing for necessary manipulation of the material in order to maintain stability. There is an equilibrium of loss and gain within the transformation; capturing fragile, temporary moments trapped in stasis. These sculptures create an environment of suspended time, in which materials defy the movements that natural forces like gravity should propel them into. Graphite pervades every surface; drawn into the grains of marble, floating atop a liquid pool, coating threads, and delicately spanning the webs of steel mesh. As these materials transition, they begin to masquerade as something new. The precarious nature of these materials, allow me to inform myself as i create; not seeking a specific outcome in any predetermined measure.
Recent works address the object-hood of history and the human bodies circulating among them. I'm investigating a theme is of women's work and the invisible actions of labor left on these ordinary objects - mops, brooms and a traditional tea set with serving pieces. These mundane rituals are invisible, in the sense that we choose to not see them or the people that provide these services.
The compilation of work evokes physicality within the context of our society (drinking, sitting, sweeping, cleaning), leaving imprints of our individual fingerprints on the marble, thus creating a visual "imprint" and understanding of the body’s place in specific societal histories. With "Cracked Reflections" (the water and graphite in serving pieces), a physical alchemy happens over time where the water dries out to reveal crusted graphite dust; further grounding the work in the actual and material.
To me, graphite is transformative and limitless. It is a medium and tool intrinsic to art history and at the foundation of an artist's studio practice. Although drawing is investigated through some traditional materials, these works conceptually maximize the use of graphite by showing the physical properties of my actions left on each surface. As represented by Reflections in a Void, my art uses the language of drawing as a framework for opening it to the process, time, and history, rendering it drawing in four dimensions.
Lauren Seiden lives and works in New York City
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