by BK Munn
The Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York City is presenting a month-long show of Seth originals beginning with an opening reception November 6. Titled “Nothing Lasts” the show and sale will feature comics pages from Seth’s “Owen Moore” (Walrus Magazine, 2015) and “Nothing Lasts” (Palookaville #22 & 23).
Full press release:
Adam Baumgold Gallery presents an exhibition of 80 drawings by Seth from Nothing Lasts, an autobiographical story from his recent and upcoming books Palookaville 22 and 23. In these drawings, Seth takes you on a tour of neighborhoods and memories from his adolescence. The exhibition also will feature a ten drawing story called Owen Moore, published in the Walrus Magazine, which imagines the life and work of an artist who achieved success only after his death. In these large ink drawings, Seth concocts a humorous and sad portrait of an overlooked artist devoted to his mother.
. . . . . During the exhibition, the gallery will be screening Dominion, the award-winning film about Seth’s life and artistic practice, directed by Luc Chamberland for the National Film Board of Canada. Dominion refers to Seth’s fictional city that is enlivened by paper and cardboard building sculptures that he has been working on for the last decade, some of which will be on display alongside the film. Several related drawings and covers for Palookaville and Drawn & Quarterly will be on view as well.
. . . . . Stitching together fragments from his past, Nothing Lasts tells of the steps both practical (buying comics, sending early drawings to a pen pal), and psychological (loneliness, difficult family life) that led Seth to becoming a cartoonist. We learn that he was called the “fittingly outdated” name “Back Issues” by bullies at school, and that an old cartoon provoked his first sexual feelings. He muses, “You can’t make up such details. Life is always handing you punch lines.” In this portrait of the artist as a young man, lost memories and forgotten faces play as important a role as the things that endure. Seth mentions a photograph of his mother “so hopeless” that it “disturbs [him],” and he declines to draw it. On another page he draws an old cigarette lighter he’s hung onto, as well as the story he’s been told about it: “It’s magic resided in its history. The lone Item to survive the bombing of Mother’s family home in London.”
. . . . . Seth was born Gregory Gallant in Clinton, Ontario in 1962. He grew up in a variety of small Southwestern Ontario towns until moving to Toronto in 1980 to attend the Ontario College of Art. He is the author of Clyde Fans, Wimbledon Green, and George Sprott, all published by Drawn & Quarterly Publications of Montreal. Seth has received the Doug Wright Award for best book for his publications of The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian cartoonists, George Sprott, Wimbledon Green, and Clyde Fans respectively. George Sprott was originally serialized in the New York Times Sunday magazine from 2006-2007. His long running comic book series Palookaville has been appearing annually since 1991.
. . . . . In 2005, Canada’s Art Gallery of Ontario honored Seth with a career retrospective featuring work from his graphic novels as well as his cardboard city, Dominion. Seth is the recipient of the 2011 Harbourfront Festival Prize, which is based on the merit of the author’s body of work and contribution to the medium and industry. Seth is also an award winning book designer, and has created artwork for books like David Rakoff’s Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish and the Lemony Snicket series. He is perhaps best known for his designs on the long running Complete Peanuts and for the John Stanley Library. In 2006 he designed the covers for The Portable Dorothy Parker for Penguin Classics. He has contributed drawings to The New Yorker, and this year created the cover for The New Yorker Reader: True Crime. This will be Seth’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Seth lives and works in Guelph, Ontario.