Korean (Artist Made) Craniums

Dongwook Lee’s Vitamin from 2003 via Doosan Gallery

From the press release of his solo exhibition Love Me Sweet at Arario Gallery, “As figure who represents the Korean new wave sculptors early in the new millennium, Lee has contrasted perfect beauty to the violent, uncanny situations that lurk beneath through elaborate and realistic sculptures made of a material called Sculpie. The composition of his works, perfectly modeled and exposed under precise containment, reflect Lee’s tendency to push himself to the very boundaries of controllability.” via Art Forum

Mioon’s Lead Me to Your Door from 2011 via Neolook

Mioon is a collaborative between Min Kim and Moon Choi. I first saw their work in the Korean Eye Catalogue which states of the artists, “In their reading of today’s cultural landscape they reveal the fictional and ideological mechanisms that pervade underneath the surface of things in various forms.”

Hyungkoo Lee’s Face Trace 003 from 2012 via AKIVE

Part of Gallery Skape’s press release for Face Trace, “The artist captures his own various facial expressions and intentionally fragments into several parts. By reassembling them according to the studies of physiognomy, he composes totally different figures. Face Trace is created by overlapping skull structures of several human races and different parts of artist’s multiple facial expressions. This process follows the method of facial reconstruction used in forensic science.” via Art Agenda

Review of Above and Beyond the Clouds

This post was originally published on Sixty Inches From Center

Xiaowei Chen manipulates minute ink lines into vast expanses and surreal scenery. Chen’s solo exhibition, “Above and Beyond the Clouds,” curated by Jiankun Xie at the Research House for Asian Art in Bridgeport, Chicago, literally revolves around her vast and exquisite drawing, Detached Clouds (1.2m. x 32 m.), which spreads almost the entire length of the gallery. The drawing serves as the focal point of the exhibition with her smaller artworks around the periphery of the space.

Xiaowei Chen, Thinking Balance, ink on paper, 15″ x 15″, 2008 (Image courtesy of Jiancun Xie)

In Detached Clouds, Chen used layers of super-fine ink lines and colored pencil on white fabric to detail the space before, between, and amongst the clouds. Beginning with an immense cascade of ice, the work melds into the sea, an expanse of mountains, and a landfill, and then eventually becomes the abyss of space that exists beyond the earth’s surface. This space is at least one-third of the drawing, a striking expanse of textures and patterns one encounters when she takes flight. As the eye moves up the fabric, the artwork gracefully extends from the floor toward the ceiling. As the abyss preceding the sky lightens, delicate bright sky-blue lines work into the fabric, eventually becoming a saturated layering of the color. This work is grand both from afar and up-close, guiding the viewer to the sky.

The distinct mark making in Detached Clouds also composes Chen’s nine-panel work, Comet in the Night  (12 in. x 12 in. each), and her large-scale works Halo I, Halo II and Halo III. Though precision remains key, Chen’s line drawings such as Anatomy of a Cloud, 9 Months and 10 Days, and Viewing maintain intricate use of line. Instead of creating depth with texture, Chen draws fantastic dream-like imagery and gnarly organic shapes twisting into each other that, because of the acute detail, provide an optical puzzle for both the mind and eye.

“Above and Beyond the Clouds” closes April 5, 2013. 

Sunday Morning Coffee [Color Block]

via DesignBoom

Tulips in bloom in the Netherlands (pictured above) via DesignBoom. Go to the festival!

The above reminds me of Gyun Hur‘s installation last spring in Savannah, spiritus lenis. Click here to read more and view the beautiful images.

To continue with yarn based color block installations, woven walls by Wies Preidje via DesignBoom.

This image from the exhibition Light Show at London’s Hayward Gallery— psychedelic, hypnotizing and open through April via ArtDaily.

Gregory Johnston at Stephen Haller Gallery in New York via ArtDaily.

Red Gate Reunion Series 2012: Britt Salt

During residency, each day as I passed through the foyer I shared with Britt Salt and Jon Hewitt, I watched Britt’s installation, Neither-Nor, Nearly Not-quite, grow from a few strips of black tape seemingly tossed onto the grubby studio wall into an enormous all consuming work of art. The work filled less than one-quarter of the large warehouse-style studio space’s walls and floor but the hypnotic quality of the rigid and inharmonious patches of black and white stripes did not allow anyone to pass without being drawn in.

Britt Salt, Neither-Nor, Nearly Not-quite, 2011, BG3 Beijing

Work that is methodic in construction becomes meditative in experience (Gyun Hur and Wolfgang Laib come to mind). Encountering the work one feels their eyes loosing focus, becoming swallowed in an optical illusion. White wall and the gray floor, covered with the same black stripes, become an incongruous reflection. The stripes transformed the gray floor into a seeming pool of smooth, shiny, water, reflecting the elegant dissonance above.

I tell you tales of the past only to guide you into the present. When I contacted Britt for the Reunion Series she immediately sent me photos of some projects from the last year. Partially due to nostalgia, I was most enticed by Britt’s installation Puzzlethèque in the group exhibition Symphonic Encounters at Linden Center for Contemporary Arts near Melbourne, Australia. Puzzlethèque shows Britt’s ability to morph between spaces and embrace the surroundings with her distinct aesthetic.

Britt Salt, Puzzlethèque, 2012, Linden Center for Contemporary Arts

Consider the two spaces I’m highlighting: BG3 is a warehouse-like live-in artist studio, a bit suburban with a rustic twist, on the other hand, Linden Center for Contemporary Arts is a pristine art center with modern architecture and clean lines. At Linden, Britt’s stripes crawl up the walls and onto the vaulted ceiling.

Britt’s three-dimensional shapes inserted into a cacophony of stripes reflect the environments in which they exist. At BG3 a tumbleweed-like mesh bundle rolled around grounded to the floor, light and easily moveable. At Linden, Britt installed large, perfectly symmetrical, stripped balls, suspended from the ceiling, refusing to touch down, creating an obstacle for passersby.

Detail of Puzzlethèque

Inline with my interview with Adrienne Romine, I asked Britt what she would do if she had unlimited funds for her art practice, “The prospect of no financial or time constraints seems like a blissful proposal. Though I can’t imagine if it would impact on my practice. I think I’d still be making the same work I am now to be honest. Perhaps I’d be travelling a lot more than I am now. Lots of ‘Self-directed Residencies’. Heading to Morocco, South of Spain, South America, Greenland in search of interesting spaces and architecture. It would be an amazing experience that could definitely influence my practice.”

“I don’t think more time and money would result in me having a better, more fulfilled practice. Only in the sense that I think I develop ideas at quite a slow and bubbling rate, and when you need to make a work, you just have to make it, you find a way, become resourceful.”

She continues, “Needless to say, I like a challenge, and I love the feeling of relaxed contentment when the stresses and deadlines of creating something dissipate once its finished!”

Britt hits a point that is important to many art practices; creativity does not come from unlimited resources. Creativity comes from a ravenous need to make and resourcefulness (for example, Jackson Pollock’s use of house paint). Britt summarizes this sentiment beautifully,

“When I have money, I need to spend it, double it, use it.
When I have no money, all that’s left to do is work.
My practice fits in the later!”

Thank you, Britt!

– – –

To view Britt Salt’s other projects and artwork visit: Britt’s Website

On their way to Red Gate Gallery Residency, Britt and Jon Hewitt, (who is up next in the Reunion Series) curated the Tran-Siberian Art Centre. A fantastic project you should visit.