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Alice Attie, Karin Sander, Jongsuk Yoon

12 Jan - 03 Mar 2018

Jongsuk Yoon
Photo © Markus Wörgötter
12 January – 3 March 2018

We are pleased to present an exhibition of drawings, sculptures, and paintings by the three women artists ALICE ATTIE, KARIN SANDER, and JONGSUK YOON. While Karin Sander has been part of our program for more than 20 years, we are showing a larger number of works by Alice Attie and Jongsuk Yoon in the gallery for the first time.

The ink drawings by ALICE ATTIE (born in 1950, in New York City, where she lives and works) involve the minuscule. They often explore the territory between writing and drawing, where the two overlap. Her drawings are meditations in ink that allow tiny marks to accumulate over long sustained periods of time. Engaging repetition, rhythm and gradual change, she allows these minuscule words, figures, numbers and marks to accrue and grow on the paper. When presenting a landscape of numbers or letters or of a language that is not real, she is inspired to push and suspend meaning, allowing it to slip into visual abstraction. In the series entitled Class Notes, Attie takes notes while attending philosophy and physics lectures at Columbia University. She re-inscribes and re-imagines the lectures in the form of drawings. These too are visual analogues to the intellectual adventures that Attie finds herself drawn to.

Her most recent series of works Take Care of Yourself is based on Michel Foucault’s last lectures at the Collège de France in Paris from 1982 to 1984, shortly before his death. These lectures focused on the idea of the “The Care of the Self,” also the title of his book (Le souci de soi). This idea, which can be traced back to Socrates, consists of caring for one’s body and mind, caring for others, and caring for personal freedom and freedom of speech. Attie’s drawings, which continually repeat the sentence “take care of yourself,” are contemplative sites of linguistic ambiguity and transgression. Attie’s series Wandering: Drawings and Collages continues her Requiem series, part of which was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. For this series, Attie works on unused pages from her father’s 1930-40’s notebooks, which she has filled with repetitive sentences or fictitious letters. The images are culled from many places including newspaper images, her own photos, found vernacular photos from her collection (originating in flea-markets).

KARIN SANDER (born in 1957 in Bensberg, lives and works in Berlin and Zurich) is known for her pointedly conceptual works, like drawings with applied office materials, polished chicken’s eggs (Hühnereier), polished wall pieces, Patina Paintings, Mailed Paintings, figurative sculptures of Living Persons on a Scale of 1:5, 1:7,7 or 1:10, Kitchen Pieces and others. She alters the state of things that are already there, be they objects or rooms or surfaces. In small interventions into the situation, she exposes its material conditions.
For Karin Sander’s glass project, she was invited by Berlin Glas e.V. to use their studio to work on a collaborative project using this traditional material. She began by approaching glass analytically in an attempt to understand its consistency and qualities. She then used this as a basis to develop objects that would reveal these experiences. Glass’s viscosity and its reaction to heat and cold define its processing and design more than any other characteristic. Karin Sander thus took the fundamental steps of glass casting and dripping as her starting point. “Liquid glass spreads out on a surface, slowly welling over its edges, until it solidifies into drop-shaped offshoots. Multiple layers are cast on top of each other, and, according to their specific consistency and viscosity, each of them will obtain its unique shape. These cooled-down glass sculptures, slowly solidified flowages, are reminiscent both of lava and ice.” (Karin Sander)

At first glance, the paintings by JONGSUK YOON (born 1965 in Onyang, South Korea, lives and works in Düsseldorf) seem to belong to the tradition of Abstract Expressionism. While Jongsuk Yoon is indeed familiar with the paradigms of European and American modernism, thanks to her studies at the academies of art in Münster and Düsseldorf, she is also influenced by the traditions of her home country and by an Asian sense of form, especially regarding Asian landscape painting and its specific two-dimensionality. Yoon’s paintings evolve in a process guided by meditation and concentration. Her subdued colors and frequent changes in perspective, with their suggested landscape elements and gestures reminiscent of calligraphy, create a balance between Western and East Asian painting traditions without one outweighing the other. Despite her animated painting style, we sense a great slowness, something quiet and trans-personal that avoids all drama and remains open to the unexpected. Yoon describes her painting process as a kind of “communication between the painting and me... My ideas take shape on the canvas while I am painting. I do not yet have the finished image in my head. In a way, it’s the painting telling me what to do.” This “web of relationships” creates paintings that are “Mind Landscapes” (the title of her solo exhibition at the Museum Kurhaus Kleve) oscillating between disparate worlds full of poetry. They become pictorial metaphors fluctuating between dream and reality.

Tags: Michel Foucault, Karin Sander