Art review: Robert Seidel at Young Projects


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Robert Seidel’s first solo show in the U.S., at Young Projects, is an immersive experience, a sensuous dip into light, color, movement, sound and change. The show contains a dozen short videos and video installations by the German artist, dating from 2002 to the present. Some appear on monitors, some on screens or walls, and some are projected onto paper sculptures. Whether you watch a single piece from start to finish or wander continually among them, the effect is largely the same and largely intriguing.

Individually, and as a group, the pieces unfurl painterly impressions and inky, calligraphic hints. They comprise a fluid archive of sensations. “E3,” the earliest work in the show, is a three-minute sequence of chromatic progressions and dissolutions, pulsing mutations in red and black. The action speeds up and slows down, the imagery swelling and contracting in a compelling, richly disorienting fashion. This is animated painting of the most ephemeral sort, yielding neither narrative nor finished image, but an ongoing chronicle of form in motion.


Seidel infuses digital media with the authenticity of the handmade mark, and further grounds his work in references to nature, whether through bird sounds or the paper sculptures that resemble feathers and shells or are based on pathways of burrowing bark beetles. Where they are combined, the objects and projections integrate awkwardly, though brief, mesmerizing passages occur when colored light dances through the sculpted or laser-cut paper. Seidel’s stream of visual consciousness is well worth dipping into.

-- Leah Ollman

Young Projects, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., (323) 377-1102, through May 14. By appointment on Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.