Michael Seidner


At first sight, the only thing you can say with certainty about the work of Michael Seidner is that he makes rather small-scale, abstract, colorful paintings of a mind-blowing impact.

Both the motivation of the artist to choose a particular color and its ‘effect’ on the viewer seem to be rooted in instinct and psyche rather than in consciousness and aesthetics. We see gestures translated into the paint, which is applied in many ways: in infnitely soft layers, in sketchy strokes, by scratching, scraping, or carving.

On one hand, Michael Seidner’s work is a particular, free-style continuation of traditions such as abstract expressionism, lyrical abstract painting or action painting, updated with the stress and despair of the eighties, the digital colors of the nineties, and the black lines and free gestures reminiscent of Graffti. On the other hand, strangely, Michael Seidner’s works are not ‘coded’, not made on the basis of a personal canon or procedure.

And yet, this lack of any visually readable trace does not prevent the paintings of Michael Seidner to exert a very deep impact on all kinds of viewers. Because they are not language, but speech. They are articulations: connections between expression and concept, thinking as painting and painting as thinking.

Dries Verstraete



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