Haeri Yoo: Running Pit

When 15 Nov 2012 - 12 Jan 2013
Where Thomas Erben Gallery
526 W 26 street, floor 4
New York, NY 10001
United States
Enquiry (212) 645-8701

Haeri Yoo, Land, 2012. Oil on canvas, 72 X 60 in. Courtesy of the artist

November 15 2012 – January 12 2013

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 15, 6-8:30 pm

Press Release:

Thomas Erben is excited to present a third solo show by New York based painter Haeri Yoo (b. 1970, Korea). Over the years, Yoo has developed her work around a tangle of dichotomies, with conflicting forces constantly struggling to form a precarious state of balance. Channeling opposing impulses such as narration and abstraction, delight and darkness, or wonder and violence, the artist establishes an animated visuality, enhanced by her use of intense colors that oscillate between jarringly sweet and polluted.

Another aspect central to Yoo’s work is the dynamic between spontaneity and control. The influence of calligraphy from her Korean background is present in the use of swift brush strokes, which lets the medium of painting itself dictate the visual conditions for each piece. This intuitive element is tempered with the artist’s intent, balancing energy flow with restraint.

Yoo has described her paintings as psychological landscapes, depicting the darker areas of the human experience such as vulnerability, cruelty and sexual subjugation. Initially, this was represented through distinctly figurative, carnal imagery, whereas in her second show she moved further into abstraction, fracturing the space of each painting into complex structures and chopping up the body almost beyond recognition.

In the series exhibited, the calligraphic brush stroke is given a stronger influence, and abstract space is simplified, with a boldness that does not sacrifice complexity. Where Yoo previously mutated reality into something resembling a Rorschach test for the darker sides of human behavior, her current work opens up toward the reality of painting itself. By emphasizing the painted surface of each piece rather than lingering in her own landscapes, she paradoxically merges her own world with the one we inhabit.

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