Seth Rosenberg ( 1951-2009 )

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Geometry plays many roles in my work. First, my allegiance is to the canvas itself: its shape, its thickness, its surface, its monolithic presence. In constructing my compositions, I am ultra aware of the surface and the space that I am working within. A unique tension exists with the edges of the canvas. Geometric forms are the perfect vehicle to reinforce my respect for those boundaries.

The grid enters my work in a variety of ways. I am quite dependent upon the grid as a structural device to develop the spatial relationships within each painting. This goes back to my early days as a sculptor working in constructed steel and wood. The grid, with its vertical and horizontal axes, instills within my work a rectilinear language that refers to landscape and architecture. Gridded patterning and decoration often fill the forms and shapes within these compositions.

I use simple, common shapes to construct my paintings, shapes that we are familiar with. Squares, circles, ovals, bars can represent so many things. At once, they are full of associative qualities, yet they also exist as ideas unto themselves—free and unencumbered, pure form.

I have always been interested in how artists express themselves. Often my work will reference art from the past. I rely upon the history of art as well as the history of my own art to guide me. Yet, these are not theory-laden paintings. My work is informed, as well, by the natural world, the way things grow and change. The path of a leaf cascading down a stream can provide important information to be considered during the artistic encounter.

Ultimately, my paintings are not about geometry or the purity of form at all. The language of geometry is simply a vehicle in which to arrive at a personal poetic aesthetic. My paintings are about my relationship to my world, my emotional response to it, and my vision, which is, in itself, about the act of discovery.

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