Paul Sietsema

May 7 - July 1, 2011
523 W 24 Street
Opening: Friday, May 6, 2011, 6-8 PM

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Paul Sietsema in his gallery at 523 West 24th Street. All the works in the exhibition were made since Sietsema’s 2009 one-person show at The Museum of Modern Art.

Sietsema’s interest in the process of image-making in relation to photography is evident in the drawing titled 'Painter's Mussel'. Using a hammer and chisel, the artist pried open a frame to remove a photograph. The objects resulting from this process make up the drawing’s composition. To make a work like 'Painter's Mussel', Sietsema paints the image in a resist medium, then sprays ink on the sheet with a motion mimicking the linear progression of a laser printer. The resist medium is removed and the image revealed.

Sietsema’s newspaper drawings are painted in ink on paper. Each newspaper locates the drawing in a specific time and cultural context and acts as a ground for other imagery. Paint residue and objects immersed in pools of paint are depicted on the newspapers’ surface: a magazine, a painter's stir stick, a notebook, a pen, a roll of 16mm film, and a paint can lid.

Of the objects pictured in the drawings Sietsema has said, “I work with the individual elements of these compositions because they emblematize for me the sort of inversion of clichéd artists’ tools and materials becoming symbols in the digital age (i.e. the paint brush in Photoshop); the passing of a tool from a functional physical object into a symbol for a parallel function in a new medium.”

Sietsema describes his new drawings as dealing with “materiality as a metaphor for expanded ideas of work and how these ideas relate to the present condition of cultural production.” He uses the imagery of the just-past studio to form a lexicon. It is through his drawing process that he is interested in addressing “the dislocation of the work-to-mark relationship that the studio has historically facilitated.”

Paul Sietsema (born 1968) lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin. He began exhibiting his work in 1998 and has had one-person museum exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the de Appel Foundation, Amsterdam; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Cubitt, London; and the Schinkel Pavillion, Berlin. His work was included in the last Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, as well as the 5th Berlin Biennial in 2008. He was awarded a Wexner Center Residency Award last year and is currently working on a new film and a touring exhibition that debuts at the Wexner in May 2012.

Paul Sietsema will be on view May 7 through July 1, 2011, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM at 523 West 24th Street.

For further information please contact Reed Handley at
(212)-243-0200 or email