‘Seth Rouser: Hands Held to Empyrean’ is on view in Ross Gallery through October 9.
Reception: Thursday September 4, 5-7 p.m.
Lecture: Thursday, September 18, 2 p.m. in Tate Hall
My research in painting has led me to explore different modes of image making over the
past twelve years. My earlier works have a collage-like aesthetic, collocating various
realistically painted forms in an abstract space. Along side these paintings I have pursued
purely abstract images in the media of monotype, collagraph, mixed-media and polymer
lift (paintings on glass that are later pealed off and adhered to canvas). Both of these
bodies of work have influenced my more recent work, paintings of cloudscapes.
I am intrigued by the inherent ability of clouds to represent constant change, while
simultaneously evoking a sense of timelessness. A cloud accumulates, dissipates, and is
moved by unseen forces, much like a human life. In viewing clouds, one can read them
as tranquil or tumultuous, depending on their qualities. I find this constant flux of the sky
parallel to the human experience. The mind and the body are always changing and yet
there is a sense of a continuous self, or being. This is a curious state, we believe
ourselves to be distinct unified individuals, despite our being multifaceted compositions,
both physically and psychologically. I use the cloudscapes as a metaphor to explore this
state of being we call self. As one can see in the images, this work does not rely solely
on the subject of clouds to carry this metaphor; gestural mark making and emotive color,
my subjective moment as the artist, are also embedded. This combination of elements is
the visual vocabulary that I use to explore this mystery of what it is, to be.