Robert Seydel

Untitled (from the Book of Ruth), 2005 - 2008

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Gouache, collage, with pen and ink
6.0 x 4.0 in (15.2 x 10.2 cm)


This work ships from Maspeth, NY, US.


Robert Seydel’s Book of Ruth is an alchemical assemblage that composes the life of his alter ego, Ruth Greisman—spinster, Sunday painter, and friend to Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Through collages, drawings, and journal entries from Ruth’s imagined life, Seydel invokes her interior world in novelistic rhythms. These seductive, unearthed artifacts, conceived as a gathering of materials from the Smithsonian and a suburban family garage, construct a mosaic portrait of a reclusive, unknown artist for whom the distance between the ordinary and the extraordinary is infra-thin. The fragments and detritus from which Seydel fashions Ruth’s art and narrates her inner life shine like the pages of an illuminated manuscript, revealing as much about the imagination of an artist as well as about the tenuous creation of self.