Ivan Seal (b. 1973) is an English artist who studied at Sheffield Hallam University. He works out of Berlin today and is represented by the Carl Freedman Gallery in London and RaebervonStenglin in Zurich. His first solo show was in May 2011 at Carl Freedman.
We have been following Seal in CFile because he is the closest to being a ceramist as anyone can get while working in two dimensions. His thick, plastic use of paints is as sumptuous and as liquid as creamy slip. This is not an accidental marriage as ceramics is one of his most frequent choices of subject; the face mugs and figurines are drawn from the court porcelain factories.
Above image: Oil painting by Ivan Seal.
Seal was named “Artist of the Week” by The Guardian in June 2011. Guardian writer Skye Sherwin described Seal’s oil paintings:
“Up close, his dense painted surfaces refuse to settle down: the intricate detail of an ornamental clock or a stack of shredded paper becomes a mutating jumble of colour that does not seem to reflect real life. He often sets his subject matter against limitless black backdrops, like the objects have just been thrown up from the void. In fact, Seal paints largely from memory at the rate of a work a day, making his approach improvised and automatic. Yet with the paint applied in thick brushstrokes, or sculpted with a palette knife, the artworks themselves are very much of this world. They dart back and forth between reality and the distortion of things remembered.”
We’re including in this post a 2013 interview between Seal and Harriet Loffler, courtesy of the Contemporary Art Society, and several of Seal’s paintings that use what appear to be ceramic figures as subjects. The works are from his most recent paintings with the Carl Freedman gallery.
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