Little Things Mean a Lot November 12 - December 23, 2015
Work by Bill Pangburn, Eozen Agopian, Hiromitsu Kuroo, Jinsoo Kim,Joohyun Kang, Renee Magnanti, Xin Song, Yiannis Christakos
curated by: Thalia Vrachopoulos
Little Things is meant to be a show with which to greet the holiday season and encompasses artists from around the world, and varied styles of art who were chosen for their quality and size. Their works hold some similarities in that they are abstract or abstracted, and they are all small and meant to be enjoyed from close up. These little jewels that offer big pleasure are in themselves complete and defined works of art by mid-career artists with established reputations.
The NYC based, Texas born Bill Pangburn has been involved with the concepts of time and its expression though the use of a linear motifs as revealed through the metaphor of water. While the metaphysics of water still occupy much of his concerns, he is also conscious about the role water plays as a very real necessity for daily existence. In the arid part of the world where he grew up, the American Southwest, the awareness of water’s preciousness is always present because of its scarcity. Often thought of primarily in economic terms, it is water's paucity that underlies this social issue and remains the driving force behind the claim to power.
Jinsoo Kim engages us with his linear networks drawn upon mirror-like shiny objects in the shape of water drops. Although Kim’s formal language has ranged from naturalistic figurative bronzes to assemblages and installations of resin casts of found objects, he maintains his link to the idea of balance. The Korean born Kim uses colors that are brilliant creating smooth elegant surfaces that are so flawless they recall mirrors.
The Greek artist Yiannis Christakos’ emotive, dynamic line can manifest in a thorn-like web that recalls martyrdom or even roses and even kite motifs stitched with thread onto the canvas. His delicate interlaced linear networks have a multitude of inspirations including cartography which Christakos studied earlier in his career.
The Korean born and educated Joohyun Kang earned her second MFA at Pratt Institute of Technology and works in New York. Her current series Power Games contains subject matter that relates to the dualistic nature of life's cycle: destruction and renewal. She makes a powerful statement about survival within the inherently dangerous ecological environment in which life occurs. She demonstrates the Darwinist euphemism "survival of the fittest" in her works that contain flora and fauna as metaphors of life. The eagle or the phoenix stands as emblems of authority, at times attacking serpents or smaller prey. In turn, the serpent then attacks and devours a tiny bird or insect. This never-ending cycle of death is also one of renewal, for in nurturing the stronger, undoubtedly, life is also perpetuated. This is the natural rhythm of life that imposes order on chaotic nature.
Renee Magnanti’s patterns serve her as leitmotifs in producing works that are interlaced, crisscrossed, or interwoven like fiber art. She combines ethnic patterns in her effort to help us see the common bond between peoples of different geographic backgrounds. Designs found in natural forms, decorative objects or world textiles have been inspirational. Sometimes Magnanti combines patterns from different cultures in a single composition, reflecting her belief in a common bond between cultures across time and space.
Eozen Agopian who lives and works both in Athens and NYC and is of Armenian descent, creates visual parallels between rational and cosmological worlds through constructing and deconstructing, layering and erasing, scraping and marking, unraveling and reconnecting. She incorporates techniques of drawing, painting, sewing and weaving in her work. Using thread as a primary medium, Agopian relates her practice to modern scientific theories such as string theory—exploring the possibility that different particles in nature are made from tiny loops of string.
Xin Song’s recent work borrows pictures from all kind of magazines, in the service of large questions about social and political values that she transforms through cutting into abstracted works. Many of the issues are discussed in these magazines because they are questions people already think about every day; current affairs, politics, health, beauty, fashion, poverty, luxury, environment, nature, modernity, technology, sex and its taboos. The Chinese born Song finds importance in the materials she uses as in many ways they mirror the world around her.
Hiromitsu Kuroo folds canvas like paper origami, a method he learned in his native Japan. However, he rejected the traditional rigid and competitive world of his youth opting for the creative, artistic milieu of Manhattan after immigrating to the United States. While simultaneously struggling to acculturate and to maintain his current status he creates and examines art bridging these two very different worlds. Kuroo’s origami method may be traditional, his personal métier is very eccentric and individual. He cuts, folds, collages and colors canvas creating intricate layers of color by sanding these down showing the soft multi-layered underlying surfaces.