work is two-sided
Using a variety of media that includes painting, drawing, sculpture, and film, Paul Sietsema makes meticulously crafted work that poses questions about knowledge, culture, and history. In some of his recent paintings, painstakingly rendered objects appear stuck to the canvas in pools or blobs of paint, visually merging of the object’s uses and associations with the cultural form of painting. In Untitled Zip, Sietsema depicts an Eisenhower dollar coin (produced 1971-78), sliding down a gray, Minimalist work, making a chattered line down the center. As Sietsema’s title indicates, the mark now bears a direct relationship with Abstract Expressionist Barnett Newman’s iconic ‘zips’ made with masking tape. The merging of the coin (as currency, but also carrier of national values) with the format and gestures associated with painting results in a complex blending of visual signifiers from a variety of worlds. Sietsema lives and works in Los Angeles. He has had one-person exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Kunsthalle Basel. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005, a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Fellowship in 2008, and a Wexner Center Residency Award in 2009.