Paul Sietsema is known for his paintings, drawings, and 16mm films that explore how imagery, form, and material affect our understanding of culture and history. Utilizing a different medium at each stage of his studio process, he often cycles between physical making and digital image manipulation. He works in series, developing groups of subjects, including painter’s tools, newspapers, coins, rotary telephones, paper currency, and museum exhibition posters from decades past. He renders these objects by hand with startling realism, employing labor-intensive techniques that mimic obsolete methods of mechanical reproduction. When he makes a film, he immerses himself in a historical or contemporary body of knowledge and its associated images and objects, such as representations of abstract painting in postwar magazines, the décor of Clement Greenberg’s New York apartment, cultural artifacts from pre-colonial Oceania, philosophy of mind, or the filmic medium itself.
Paul Sietsema (b. 1968) has had one-person exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in 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 2010. He lives and works in Los Angeles.