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Formal Wonders & Wandering Forms

  • Grizzly Grizzly 319 North 11th Street \ Floor 2 Philadelphia, PA, 19107 United States (map)

Seth Koen and Skirmantas Pipas

Opening Reception: Second Friday, July 13. 6-9pm

Closing Reception: Friday, August 3. 6-9pm

This July, Grizzly Grizzly is proud to present Formal Wonders and Wandering Forms, a two-person exhibition that looks at the liminal territory between form, absence, and internal vision. Seth Koen and Skirmantas Pipas use line, shape, and texture in ways that counter our perceptions of the physical world, at times defying gravity and challenging inertia. Though connected by their whimsical gestures and ambiguous marks, the two artists diverge in the outcome of their formal explorations.  While Pipas creates ambiguous and unconscious spaces infused with narrative potential, Koen strips down his gestures to their most essential elements.


Skirmantas Pipas mines the tension between physical and mental states of being.  In the etheral, watery worlds of his imagination, Pipas creates landscapes that appear simultaneously otherworldly and deeply internal. For the show at Grizzly Grizzly, Pipas will present a series of watercolors begun after he was seriously injured in an accident. Working from his hospital bed in the ICU, Pipas became aware of the dichotomy between the input of fluids he was receiving intravenously and the output of fluids to his watercolors. The resulting series examines the struggle between his expectations for, and the limitations of, his physical and mental state.


With instinct and whim as his guiding principle, Seth Koen uses basic materials such as wood and yarn to create elegant forms. Pushing the boundaries of minimal actions, his practice is one of continuous questioning: “Can I carve this piece of wood any thinner? What is the minimal sculptural gesture needed to activate a room? How is this object affected by the space around it? How can I make a piece evocative without being too literal or specific?” For his show at Grizzly Grizzly, Koen will present a new series of small scale carvings. Together, the works create a hieroglyphic language of three-dimensional marks.


Seth Koen currently resides in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Skirmantas Pipas recently relocated from Philadelphia to Durham, North Carolina. Both artists will be present at the opening reception.

Earlier Event: July 13
Best of the Worst
Later Event: July 13
Midnight Print Society