Youni Chae
On the Umber Rim

Opening: June 5th 2-6PM
June 5th - July 5th, 2021

From the Situation of Freedom

Between the desires and limitations of the self, painting oscillates between exhausting repetition and chaotic variation. Negative modes of working, of what painting shouldn’t be, gives me more open decisions to build forms. This invites situations of undetermined, ambient and unutterable feeling without intention or purpose. This situation of “free mood” and spontaneity is free from conceptual intent and pre-perception. Paintings are happening in this imminent beginning situation.

Senses, Intuition, Specificity of the Form

In a way, how to start a painting is less important than how to finish one. Painting starts with vague desires of the paintings’ future effects and pursuing those desires to answer the unresolved problems from the past. But this negative mode is rudimentary before reaching the manifestation of new form with these indecisions. What leads the way is the intuitions that carve out habits by doing and undoing my own taste while I develop new senses and perceptions throughout the process. These indeterminate decisions are not conceptual but purely sensuous and specific.

‘From the Shadow of Ideas to the Bright Lights of Visuality’

Finishing the painting is the actualization of this new perception. This is the transformation from the material to thingness. Otherwise, the painting would just be seen as a process. It takes the final clarification of simplicity to manifest this and appears all-at-once while concealing its labor. The surface gets compressed reflecting the duration of the process. This holds the viewer’s attention for open meanings from its purely visual sensations. Colors are often the result of this process by avoiding any indexical interpretation. Natural forms in paintings emerge from working with unknown shapes instead of a direct reference to nature.

Abstraction: The Thing Itself

Subjective feeling and sensation in our body is universal and true to us. The pursuit of freedom out of pre-existing frames is the novelty in art making. Through the history of painting, developing new senses is a personal thing but it goes beyond personal by externalizing it. Imprinting the self-consciousness of this subjectivity is abstraction, an unrealized form. Reframing perceptions within the history of abstraction has been my major interest in making my paintings.

Reframing Perceptions, Associations

I have been looking at older figurines and ceramics from Korea, embracing these hand-built objects to find a new mode. I’m intrigued by their physical presence and their making triggers my imagination. When I see paintings, I see them through the body, details such as its touch, gravity and orientation are important to my work. The life force in paintings comes from intensifying the haptic quality of these elements. The paintings emerge as autonomous with these decisions. The final form provides associations from the outside ranging from the history of painting, iconic objects in culture, to ordinary events from life. But the associations are hidden under reframed perceptions and the paintings like to stay allegorical.

Guertin's Graphics is located upstate in the Hudson Valley 10 minutes from Bard College at:
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Image: The Realist, 2020, oil on canvas, 24 x 19 inches

Recital, 2019 17 x 23 inches oil on canvas

Blossom, 2019 17 x 25 inches oil on canvas

Bow and Neck, 2020 22 x 26 inches oil on canvas

Garden (Inversion), 2020 21 x 17 inches oil on canvas

The Realist, 2020 19 x 24 inches oil on canvas

Unmoored, 2020 21 x 17 inches oil on canvas

Correspondence, 2020 21 x 26 inches oil on canvas

Big Teeth, 2019 12 x 15 inches oil on canvas