Zurich - Exhibition

Ivan Seal: Chevette in Dub

RaebervonStenglin

27 Aug 201630 Sep 2016

“One Saturday afternoon somewhere in the early eighties my father drove from Sale to Stockport at high speed with my mother in the passenger seat and my brother and I in the back seats. At one point he drove through red and avoided a near collision. My mother shouted my father’s name. The car was a Vauxhall Chevette, colour: yellow”.
Ivan Seal, 2016

Alternating between slick illusion and impasto pigment, Ivan Seal‘s semi-abstract canvases posit an alternate world whose hallucinatory juxtapositions and queasy lighting reflect on and skew our own.
In ‘Chevette in dub‘, Seal’s third solo exhibition at RaebervonStenglin, the artist lets memory and invention collide and multiply in a series of paintings that investigates the nature of both.

The exhibition’s starting point is the gallery’s past life as a garage. In imagining the ghost of the machine that may once have been parked in the space, Seal summoned from his subconsciousness the car of his childhood years, the lemon yellow Vauxhall chevette his parents drove; which in becoming his paintings’ protagonist, becomes also a vehicle for recalling a specific moment in time. The strangulating culture of suburban Manchester in the early 1980s, personified by a pervasive pebble-dash, and an almost-incident from the artist’s own very ordinary childhood are summoned from the memory of the chevette like the Belle Epoque that flowers from Proust’s tea-dunked madeleine. Depicted repeatedly as fractured elements on top of plinths in a style that veers between realist illusion and a Modernist truth to materials (paint is often emphatically paint in Seal’s works), Seal’s car and its near collision are aggrandised to bathetic and poignant effect, creating stage sets that together point to a story which is left dismantled just as the car has been.

In making the works Seal has constructed scenes, ‘building’ his images out of mnemonic elements that are cut up and re-assembled across the works in the series. This sculptural technique is explicitly likened through the exhibition title to dub music in which a track is dismantled and remixed to create new sonic structures each related yet potentially so different as to be unrecognisable from the original. So it is, in Seal’s canvases, with memory; each excursion in paint a phenomenological investigation into consciousness remembered, and remastered.

Ivan Seal was born in 1973 in Manchester to a butcher and ballroom dancer. He lives and works in Berlin.

  • Installation view of Ivan Seal, Installation view of Ivan Seal, "Chevette in dub", RaebervonStenglin, Zürich. 2016. Photo: Conradin Frei, courtesy of the artist and RaebervonStenglin
  • Installation view of Ivan Seal, Installation view of Ivan Seal, "Chevette in dub", RaebervonStenglin, Zürich. 2016. Photo: Conradin Frei, courtesy of the artist and RaebervonStenglin
  • Installation view of Ivan Seal, Installation view of Ivan Seal, "Chevette in dub", RaebervonStenglin, Zürich. 2016. Photo: Conradin Frei, courtesy of the artist and RaebervonStenglin

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Ivan Seal

Contacts & Details

OPENING:
wed, thu, fri 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm; sat 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

BY APPOINTMENT:
sun, mon, tue

ADMISSION:
Free

ESTABLISHED:
2010

SPACE:
120/140 m2

OWNER/DIRECTOR:
Beat Raeber, Matthias von Stenglin


T: +41 43 818 2100 M: info@raebervonstenglin.com W: RaebervonStenglin
ADDRESS:
Pfingstweidstrasse 23 Zürich, CH-8005 Switzerland