The publication brings together three distinct bodies of Landers' recent pictural work
in beautifully reproduced images: yellow legal pad paintings, text drawings, and the Aspen tree paintings.
Since 1990, a ubiquitous pad of yellow legal paper has been the unwitting means through which Landers commenced his artistic career. His constant companion throughout those early days, the yellow pages were the vehicle for his art production—texts scrawled in ballpoint pen documented the details of his life from the banal to the painfully personal. Flash forward 28 years and the yellow legal pad is still close at hand, each page offering a glimpse into Landers' artistic process. The artist gradually recognized that these works “bear an aesthetic of no aesthetic” and began to use the pages to create his new series of yellow legal pad paintings. These paintings serve to not only illuminate their own existence, but also the existence of a number of paintings in another body of work—the Aspen tree paintings. The attentive reader can literally see the marriage of the writing-side of Landers with his painting-side, by cross-referencing the texts and drawings in the yellow legal pad paintings, with those “carved” into the bark of the Aspen tree paintings.
Published on the occasion of the artist's exhibition at Petzel Gallery, New York, from March 1st to April 21, 2018, and at ADAA's The Art Show, Park Avenue Armory, New York, from February 27 to March 4, 2018.
Born 1962 in Palmer (Massachusetts), Sean Landers lives and works in New York City. Since the early 1990s, his work has been one of the most fascinating and repeatedly irritating projects in contemporary art. The polar opposites of tormented self-doubt and endless self-aggrandizement run like a thread through the artist's practice along with a number of masks of failure used by the subject as a strategy to preserve himself from impending loser status.
With text and video works that appear disguised as conceptual art, he introduces into this genre the taboo of the artist as subject, as well as the artist's emotions. He has become known as the artist who—with confessional and stream-of-consciousness texts and videos—presents himself as a failure in his art, his life and his relationships.