Reviewed by Mat Gleason
Art and science are often at odds, polar opposites even. There is the imperious search for truth in science that lays to waste any poetry that gets in the way of the reality of a situation. Once the hypothesis is proven, the maxim stands, the teacher can only reveal it to the student one time before the student knows as much about it as the teacher. Meanwhile art can toss out reality at will, create alternate universes and privilege ambiguity with no commitment to keeping anything the way it was yesterday or will be tomorrow.
It takes a magician of a certain temperament, then, to utilize the strengths of both these disciplines. There is the precision of science and the imagination of art but what most do not see is the imagination inherent in the practice of science and the precision of executing great art. Seta Injeyan is this sort of rational magician. There is a melding in her art of disciplined observation we reserve to think of the scientist. There is a sensitivity to emotional resolution we privilege as an outcome for the artist. In her solo show “Organic Flows” she seizes the similarity between disparate methods of moving things. Highways mimic the body’s structure, fire is poured onto the surface as a liquid. Her most successful paintings resolve the similar appearance of branch networks in trees to the veins in human organs. We see representations of things in many mediums but in the painting of Injeyan we see connections illustrated as alternate realities.
The effect of Injeyan’s paintings are simple, yet epic. They transform by expanding the imagination of the viewer. There is a small change in each gallery visitor. None will ever look at the subtle shapes of nature and those of biology in the same way. Unified in an unreal combination on the surface of a painting, the absorption of Injeyan’s visual poetry elevates the consciousness of the viewer. This is powerful magic in a universe that seems more each day designed to limit our conceptual options in order to sell us something. There is no preaching, politicking or peddling going on in Injeyan’s painting. There is but artistry in the service of the rationally absurd, and that in and of itself, is quite a triumph.
Los Angeles, November 30, 2018