Pierre Huyghe is a producer of spectacular and memorable enigmas, with works that function more like mirages than as objects. Abyssal Plain (2015–ongoing), his contribution to the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was installed on the seabed of the Marmara Sea, some 20 metres below the surface of the water and close to...
In the early decades of its existence, New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, transformed from a philanthropic project modestly housed in a few rooms of the Heckscher Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, to an alleged operating node in the United States' cultural struggle during the cold war, and one of the...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
Perrotin is pleased to announce We Used to Be Fish, an exhibition by Seoul born New York based-artist, Gahee Park. This is her first solo show with the gallery.
In an era where technology has enabled vast new networks of connection, these means of communication are–more-often-than- not–un-reliant on physical presence and touch. Our own time could easily be described as a paradoxical heightening of connection and isolation in equal measure. In this exhibition, Park’s work is notable for her celebration of a slower and more personal sense of bonding. Comprised of paintings and drawings depicting intimacy within domestic scenes, Park’s sensual visions are profoundly personal ones.
Born and raised in Korea, Park’s early life was influenced by her strict and religious upbringing as well as the socially restrictive and conformist atmosphere of Korea at the time–factors she actively attributes to her interest in exploring intimate realms not affected by a sense of indoctrinated shame and guilt. Within her paintings, modest pleasures come to the fore–disrobed couples lounge freely within the confines of their living quarters, caught mid embrace and fulfilling multiple desires at once. There exists a feeling of the quotidian–casual dinners, errant cats, and disorganised surfaces–where her idealised eroticism unfolds. It’s this combination of fantasy and normalcy that sets her scenes apart.
Park’s palette pulsates with pastel swathes, as exaggerated figures use their bulbous appendages to reach for objects of desire placed throughout the frame. The characters’ hands appear genetically modified so as to pluck away at all their hearts desires. But curiously, Park’s work is not as explicitly sexual as one might expect from such descriptions. These desires, while sometimes of the flesh, also include impulses to cuddle, eat morsels of delight, and modestly enjoy a cocktail from a room with a view. In one notable painting, a couple embrace, eat steak, fondle each other, and feed the dog all at once. She CAN have it all, Park seems to say. But this stance of self-affirmation contains more than a little stubborn rebelliousness as well. For such modest, 'civilised' pleasures to be meaningful and liberating, Park suggests, the wilful subversion of social norms and taboos is often necessary. This can lead to strange primitive behaviour and unnatural contortions of the body.
These idealised scenes of private lives are a rebuttal to technological intrusions (not a cellphone is seen) and perhaps a form of personal catharsis in answer to an upbringing constricted by ideological frameworks. Her safe spaces, bounded by the canvas edges, offer a place to play without shame and recrimination. They are sensual in the true definition of the word: involving gratification of the senses and the physical. Our subjects touch, taste, see, and (we assume) hear and smell the things that deliver pleasure.
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