Lighting the Shade

Seth One

Sethone Ol Dietze

Sethone Ol Dietze
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte / Oliver Dietze


Seth One


2022, in situ


2,6 x 7 m




Abstract painting—particularly in the form of murals—is one of the main currents in Urban Art. If we inquire, however, into the historical derivation of this formal genre, we encounter only secondarily the “great” models from modern art history. Instead, the pictorial conventions of graffiti writing serve as the basis here. These are internalized, but at some point relativized without being completely overcome, often leading to an unexpected proximity to classical Modernism. Seth One has developed his own theory and term for such abstractions inspired by graffiti: “Graffolysis! This means deconstructing one or more letters to create a dynamic abstract composition.” The large blue form in Seth One’s work “Lighting the Shade” for the Urban Art Biennale 2022 could be based on the letter D in the tradition of trend-setting New York writer Dondi White – or just a round form with a corner. In bright colors, combined with spatial interventions and discovered objects from the former bank branch such as locker keys integrated into it, the result is a walk-through painting. A project to champion the new, in a manner of speaking. If you take a closer look, you recognize on the wall, despite all the abstraction, the fitting lock boxes for the integrated keys.

Enter exhibit