The paintings of a Towson University alumnus are currently on display in the Baltimore Museum of Art. Front Room: Seth Adelsberger features close to a dozen works and will be on display in the museum’s contemporary wing until November 2.
“For an emerging artist, this is an amazing opportunity,” Adelsberger told the Baltimore Sun. “Because of this show, a gallery in Los Angeles already is expressing interest in working with me.”
“His work is very strong visually and aesthetically,” said Kristen Hileman, the BMA’s curator of contemporary art.
“His paintings really grab your eye. But they’re also very interesting conceptually and historically. They relate back to artworks done in the late 1950s and 1960s by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Frank Stella, and that gives what Seth is doing a lot of heft.”
He creates his Submersion Paintings, in intense blues and saturated magentas, by staining untreated canvases with rich washes of acrylic paint before applying a thick layer of gesso. In his hands, this viscous white paint, normally used as a base coat, is unorthodoxly sandwiched in between the initial stained layers and a final wash of color, adding texture and dynamic form.
In his Border Paintings, the artist treats a painting’s surface as material to be cut away, leaving only a painted and wrapped edge to frame the void where one would expect to find the most important part of a picture.
In other pieces, carpet fragments replace paint and canvas as the media from which a ‘painting’ is made. For these works, Adelsberger digitally manipulates an image of an abstract carpet design to heighten the carpet’s pile and pattern before printing the results onto rectangles of actual carpet. He then displays the resulting works in meticulously fabricated cases.
Adelsberger graduated in 2002 with a BS in art from the College of Fine Arts and Communication, and since then his paintings have been featured in several group and solo exhibitions spanning the country. The award-winning artist, who hails from Emmitsburg, was also the co-founding director of Nudashank Gallery in Baltimore.