November 7 – December 6, 2008
Reception for the artist: Friday, November 7, 6 – 8:30 pm
Thomas Erben is pleased to present new paintings by Haeri Yoo(b. 1970, Korea). After a successful solo presentation of her work at dc Duesseldorf last year and inclusions in several shows with the gallery, including in Shanghai and Mumbai, this is the artist’s first – highly anticipated – solo exhibition.
Often described as a “car crash of fairy tales,” Yoo here further intensifies her work through tightening her palette of aggressive colors, expanding the paintings’ scale into the monumental and adding texture to surface through gloss and accretion.
Lilly Wei, in a 2007 catalogue published by the Ahl Foundation, describes Yoo’s paintings as “wild, emotive, raw, [and] ambitious.” She further elaborates:
“Her images are transgressive, sexually fraught, with feminist leanings and psychological twists. They are improvised, spontaneous and indebted to Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Expressionism, graffiti and pop. The boldness of her color scheme and her rhythmic deployment of paint [brushed] onto the canvas with great gusto is utterly compelling, as are her idiosyncratic figurations. The scale is encompassing and effective in creating a supercharged environment of suspended belief, as you enter her highly imaginative, uninhibited domain with its doubled impact of high feeling and weighty materiality.”
The cultural and aesthetic sensibilities of Yoo’s native Korea as well as psychological tension, outsider art and gestural figuration are all implicit in her work. Organic lines, pencil scrawls, brightly colored washes and bold patches of paint simplify figures and build accumulations that intervene between humor and sadness, happiness and anger, beauty and violence, abstraction and figuration. If and when they “represent,” these paintings occupy the space unfolding between these dichotomies.
Haeri Yoo is a MFA graduate of Pratt Institute and has shown at the Queens Museum of Art, the Bronx River Arts Center, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Rush Arts Gallery, Mehr Gallery and, most recently, in the Simon Watson curated Defining a Moment, House of Campari Exhibition. She was awarded the 2006-2007 Visual Award from the AHL Foundation (first prize), a residency at the Henry Street Settlement, a Korea Cultural Council Grant and was a participant in theLower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space program. Her work has been commented upon in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, NY Newsday and will be featured in the forthcoming issue of Whitewall Magazine.
The Saatchi Collection, London, as well as Bose Krishnamachari, Mumbai; Craig Robins, Florida; Aurel Scheibler, Berlin; Nicola Cernetic, Turin – to name a few – have included her work in their collections.