Seth’s Dominion

By: Joshua Glenn
April 30, 2020

Today at ArchitectureBoston, a weekly online journal published by the American Institute of Architects’ Boston chapter (and art-directed by HILOBROW friends Tony Leone Design), fans of the cartoonist Seth can read my story about Dominion — the cardboard city that he’s constructed in his home studio in Guelph, Ontario.

As mentioned back in December, HILOBROW friend Mark Kingwell and I met up in Toronto that month, then made the trek to our friend Seth’s town in order to view the Art Gallery of Guelph’s amazing exhibition Seth: A Life, All Play. Here’s how I describe the exhibition, in my ArchitectureBoston story:

[It’s] a breathtaking panoply of the artist’s output: not only original artwork for his comics but also sketchbooks, rubber-stamped journals, prints, massive scrapbooks, puppets and knitted figures, even a porcelain “cenotaph” in the form of an Art Deco hotel lobby. This gallery-goer was particularly smitten by a sprawling display of jaunty model buildings — fashioned of cardboard harvested from FedEx boxes and painted mostly in shades of grey — collectively titled Dominion. It’s common, these days, to describe imaginative storytellers as “world builders”; Seth has actually built one.

Below: Seth and Mark, in Guelph. Back when people could travel, and visit museums, and have lunch together.

When I got back to my Boston office, which I share with Tony Leone, I couldn’t stop talking about Seth’s cardboard city. So Tony pitched a story, on my behalf, to ArchitectureBoston’s editor, Fiona Luis (a former Boston Globe colleague of mine… it’s a small world). I’m pleased with the way it came out; Tony Leone Design’s layout is gorgeous, and the photos luminous. ArchitectureBoston’s current theme is “Target,” hence the emphasis in my piece on Seth’s (ruminative, untargeted) process.

Check it out!


Comics, Spectacles