SEAN SLEMON

BIOGRAPHY

SEAN SLEMON
(b 1978 Cape Town, lives and works in New York)

Seán Slemon is a South African artist from Cape Town, living and working in Brooklyn, New York since 2005. He is recognized for addressing socio-political issues pertaining to the commoditization and distribution of natural resources. His examination of how land, light and street trees are co-opted to create advantage or discriminate underscores the active and passive decisions we make as a society. The result is an intense interrogation of public vs. private property, its ownership, and the impact this distribution can have on people’s lives.

Formally trained in sculpture, Slemon now incorporates installation, drawing and photography, seeking media that reinforce the concept. Embedding materials such as chalk, soil and concrete help to build physical and ideological layers and create theoretical conflicts. He primarily builds and fabricates sculptures himself using gypsum, fiberglass and other materials; however, recent projects have employed other fabrication techniques, using 3D computer modeling and working with industrial fabricators to produce works on a larger and more complex scale.

Slemon obtained an MFA from Pratt Institute in New York and a BFA from Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town. He has been featured in numerous publications, and completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and Chashama in New York. He has been awarded grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York and the National Arts Council of South Africa; and won the 2005 Sasol New Signatures Award for emerging artists in South Africa.

Slemon’s work has been shown in the U.S., Europe and South Africa. Major site specific installations include Uplift: The Mountain (2008) at the Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena, and The Light at 7:00 am (2009) for No Longer Empty’s Reflecting Transformation show in Chelsea, NY. Most recently, Goods for Me (2011) was featured at Art Miami in the THINK BIG! show, curated by LaRete Art Projects.

In 2014 Slemon completed a commission for First National Bank; a series of five public sculptures for their Johannesburg Bank City precinct. He recently staged his third solo exhibition at MagnanMetz Gallery in New York, which remains open to the public until November 7th, 2015. 

 

EDUCATION

2007     
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. New York, USA

2007 
    
Masters in Fine Arts at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, USA

2001     
Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art with Distinction, University of Cape Town, Michealis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, South  Africa.

 
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015    
Origin Unknown (Africa), MagnanMetz Gallery, New York, USA

2012 
    
New Work: Sean Slemon, Nirox Projects, Johannesburg, South Africa

2011     
The Sun Stands Still, MagnanMetz Gallery, New York, USA

2010     
In the Red/In the Black, Brodie/Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2008 
   
Block 700, Magnan Projects, New York City, USA

2007    
Public Property, Central Utah Arts Center, Utah, USA

2006     
Solid Light, David Krut Arts Resource, Johannesburg, South Africa

2005     
Katrina and the Five Boroughs, David Krut Projects, New York, USA
Joburg One to Eleven, The Premises Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Uplift: The Premises Mountain, The Premises Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Mountain and The City, Outlet Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

 
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016     
Pastoral Abstraction, Everard Read Cape Town, South Africa

2015     
Bronze , Steel & Stone, Everard Read Cape Town and the Belmond Mount Nelson, South Africa
Winter Sculpture Fair, Nirox Sculpture park, South Africa
EMPIRE, Everard Read Cape Town, South Africa

2014    
Play, curated by Jayne Crayshaw-Haley, Nirox Sculpture park, South Africa
Art Week Joburg, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg, South Africa
Destination Unknown, MagnanMetz Gallery, New York, USA

2013  
  
Art Miami, MagnanMetz Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
Think Big, Art Miami, Curated by LaRete Art Projects: Julia Draganović, Elena Forin and Claudia Löffelholz for Art Miami, Florida
In the Flesh, Target Gallery, Torpedo factory, curated by Jason John,
The Benediction of Shade, David Krut Projects, Cape Town, South Africa, curated by Jacqueline Nurse
“Et al” Nirox Projects, Johannesburg, South Africa, curated by Neil Nieuwoudt and Brendan Copestake

2012     
“How Much Do I Owe You” No Longer Empty, Queens, New York, curated by Manon Slome
Joburg: Don’t/Panic,  C.H.R., Johannesburg, South Africa, curated by Gabi Ngcobo
Landscape Re-Orientation, David Krut Projects, Cape Town, South Africa, curated by Jacqueline Nurse

2011     
Implemented Environments, Brundyn & Gonsalves, Cape Town, South Africa
Don’t/Panic, Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa, curated by Gabi Ngcobo

2010     
Announcing MagnanMetz, MagnanMetz Gallery, curated by Dara & Alberto Metz

2009     
Reflecting Transformation, No Longer Empty, curated by Manon Slome
Map South Africa: African Perspectives and the Heart of the African City, Pretoria, South Africa
Forever Summer, Denise Bibro Fine Art curated by Scott Malbaurn, June

2008     
Scratching the Surface Vol. 1, Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town, curated by Gabi Ngcobo and Mwenya Kabwe
ZA Giovane arte dal Sudafrica, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy, Feb, curated by Lorenzo Fusi, www.papesse.org

2007     
Works on paper-an exhibition of prints created in the David Krut Print workshop, UNISA Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2006     
Contour-the Definitive line, curated by Jon Coffelt, Schedler Minchin Fine Art, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

2005     
Sasol New Signatures Exhibition:  Snowflake, Aardklop Festival, Potchefstroom,  South Africa
Sasol New Signatures 2005, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, First Prize joint winner, Judges Award winner, Merit Award joint winner

2004    
Absolut Secret 9, Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town, South Africa

2003    
Picnic, Brendan Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2002     
Spier Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2000     
Softserve ll, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

 
SELECTED COLLECTIONS AND COMMISSIONS

2014     
First National Bank, South Africa: Outdoor commission for five public sculptures

2013     
Spier Collection, South Africa

2012     
Pizzutti Collection, USA

2007     
Pratt Institute permanent outdoor sculpture exhibition, USA

2005     
Sasol South Africa Collection, South Africa

2005     
Harrie Siertsema Collection, South Africa

AWARDS, GRANTS, AND LECTURES

2014     
Studio Museum Harlem, Ubuntu Artist Exchange, moderated by Tumelo Mosaka

2011     
USA Projects matching funding grant, USA Artists
Artists Lecture, Artists Now Lecture series, University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2009     
Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Emergency Artists Grant

2008     
Artists Lecture, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

2007     
National Arts Council of South Africa-Study Bursary

2005     
Sasol New Signatures Award
Sasol New Signatures Judges Merit Award

 
RESIDENCIES

2015     
Nirox Foundation Artist’s Residency, Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa

2012     
Nirox Foundation Artist’s Residency, Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007    
Chashama Studio Residency program: Brooklyn Army Terminal, New York

 
PUBLICATIONS AND REVIEWS

2012     
The Sun Stands Still: review by Jenah Barry, Art South Africa, Issue 10 Volume 3, March 2012

2011     
Don’t/ Panic Exhibition catalogue by Gabi Ngcobo

2008   
.za: Young Art from South Africa Pick of the month
PALAZZO DELLE PAPESSE Siena, February 2–May 4 Emily Verla Bovino, Artforum Magazine.

2007     
An artist’s residency: The need for work/space in South Africa, de Arte Vol.76, 2007, UNISA Press
Sean Slemon,Pratt Institute, New York, by Jena Barry, ArtSouthAfrica Magazine, Vol 6 Issue 1, P102

2006     
The Politics of Power and Space: Business Day, Sept 1st 2006, Alex Dodd
Sean Slemon Solidifies Light and Space, by Jacki Mc Innes
SA Art Times, Issue 8, August 2006

2005     
Sean Slemon The Premises, Johannesburg, by Robyn Sassen, ArtSouthAfrica, Magazine, V4.2 P80, Dec 2005                 
http://www.artsouthafrica.com/?article=229 
Artthrob_reviews, www.artthrob.co.za, Robyn Sassen, http://www.artthrob.co.za/05may/reviews/outlet.html

2002     
Spier Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, catalogue, Emma Bedford.

2001     
Artthro Review, www.artthrob.co.za (online art magazine), www.artthrob.co.za/01dec/reviews/michaelis.html, Tracy Murrinick