September 12 to December 15, 2019
Fall Season Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12 at 7 pm
Featuring the work of graphic novelist and artist Seth, A Life, All Play focuses on the creative exploration that is integral to his storytelling, captured in a dense and lush installation that highlights his life in the studio as well as finished works – from sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and cardboard maquettes, to comic pages, ceramics and dioramas, including his model city Dominion. Illustrating a process-oriented practice that is not much different from the way he made things as a child, the work on view encompasses the same childhood inspirations – comic books, toys and models, as well as DIY materials such as cardboard, poster paint, and glue. Reflecting a practice infused with genuine play, Seth has noted, “Sometimes this process leads to finished works, but sometimes it is just about the process itself – following a road that doesn’t always lead to a destination. Sometimes just walking down the road is the point.”
The cartoonist behind the comic book series Palookaville and the recent publication Clyde Fans, Seth’s comics have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, and McSweeneys Quarterly. His illustrations have also appeared in numerous publications including the cover of The New Yorker, The Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. Based in Guelph, Seth’s work has been the focus of solo exhibitions, including Dominion (multiple venues), Bannock, Beans and Black Tea (Confederation Centre Art Gallery, 2005), Seth (Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, 2006), Dominion-Beaver (RENDER/University of Waterloo, 2008), and Heading to Palookaville (Peel Art Museum and Archives, 2017). Group exhibitions include Speak: Nine Cartoonists (Pratt Institute, 2006), Uninked (Phoenix Art Gallery, 2007), Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood (Art Gallery of Ontario, 2017), Omnis Temporalis (Richmond Art Gallery, 2017), and This is Serious. Canadian Indie Comics (Hamilton Art Gallery, 2019). He is the subject of the documentary Seth’s Dominion and has been involved in several animated adaptations of his comic books.
Screening of Seth’s Dominion
Friday, September 27, 2019 | 7 pm | Free
Lecture Room | Second Floor | Accessible
Running time: 42 minutes
Part animation and part live action, this documentary offers an intimate portrait of graphic novelist and artist Seth. Through interviews with the artist and those closest to him as well as animated clips of Seth’s stories, director Luc Chamberland offers a close look at the artist’s inner world as well as his work environment, mixing insightful biography with vivid animation to capture Seth’s manifold creative universe. Presented in conjunction with Ontario Culture Days.
In Conversation with Seth
Thursday, November 14, 2019 | Free
Doors open: 6:30 pm | Talk: 7 pm
Lecture Room (Second Floor) | Accessible
Join us on Thursday, November 14 for a conversation with Seth. Presented in conjunction with A Life, All Play, Seth will be joined by writer, critic, and editor Emily Donaldson in a dialogue examining his unique creative worlds and the sources that have informed and inspired them. Explore the exhibition before the conversation begins! Doors open at 6:30 pm, the event begins at 7 pm.
Emily Donaldson is one of Canada’s best-known book critics as well as the editor at large of Canadian Notes & Queries magazine, the country’s oldest magazine of culture and literary criticism. Her reviews and writing have appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Maclean’s, The Walrus, and other publications. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons.
(Click to view)
Image detail: Seth, Window Shopper, 2017, ink on paper with digital colour. Collection of the artist